ICLEI South Asia has initiated a two-year project, RESET South Asia: Renewables for Sustainable Energy Transition in South Asia (RESET SA), to support local governments in mainstreaming Sustainable Energy Transition (SET) at the local level. The project, funded by USAID through its South Asia Regional Energy Partnership (SAREP) programme, will cover five cities across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan, categorised into two deep-dive cities and three secondary cities. While the deep-dive cities will receive technical support for activities such as the preparation of a SET roadmap and an allied implementation plan, pilot demonstration projects and bankable projects along with capacity building and peer-to-peer learning from US cities and across the project cities, the secondary cities will benefit from capacity building and peer-to-peer learning and the establishment of institutional mechanisms for local SET.
Based on their readiness and opportunities for SET implementation, Ahmedabad and Thimphu have been identified as the deep-dive cities. In this connection, a project initiation meeting was held with stakeholders in Thimphu, Bhutan, from October 17 to 20, 2023, along with some site visits to gain an understanding of the opportunities for SET implementation. At the meeting, the Thrompon (Mayor) spoke of Thimphu Thromde’s commitment to provide the necessary support to USAID-SAREP and ICLEI South Asia for the successful implementation of the project. Key stakeholders such as Bhutan Construction and Transport Authority, Electricity Regulatory Authority, Bhutan Power Corporation, Department of Energy, Sustainable and Resilient Building Division, Department of Human Settlement have also been onboarded to support the initiative.
Meanwhile, an opportunity has been identified for assisting in the design review of the new City Hall building in Thimphu, currently in the conceptual design phase, to serve as a pilot for promoting the net-zero building concept. USAID- SAREP has agreed to support this pilot through the RESET SA project.