Bhutan has its first public discourse on hydropower development from October 29 to 31. With an ambitious goal of producing 10,000 MW of hydropower by 2020, the country is poised to put a hydropower project on every major river basin. Is this where Bhutan wants to head, at this pace? This was the point of discussion at the Energy, Economy and Environment (E3) conference organized by the Bhutan Ecological Society and QED Group in Thimphu.

Speakers included power developers, engineers, civil servants from the Ministry of Economic Affairs, members of the private sector, members of civil society, Green Business and few representatives from National Council. They touched upon topics such as urban planning, the economics of power generation, renewable energy, and social inclusion. Lessons were also shared from countries in the region and Europe. However, many participants were also questioning the implications of this accelerated power sector development on the environment, society, and economy. Detailed proceedings of the conference will soon be generated and forward to relevant committees of the two houses of parliament for further deliberations.

The conference was conducted in partnership with the Bhutan Foundation and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation with support from other partners.