Natural resources, energy and environment
Large and largely unexploited natural
resources exist in the form of hydropower, forest and
minerals. Several calcium minerals are extracted, such
as carbide, dolomite, gypsum, lime juice and anhydrite.
Some mining of coal and shale also occurs.
Hydropower is Bhutan's most important economic asset
(see Economic overview). The export to India has
contributed to rapid development. The first Chhukha
hydroelectric power plant was inaugurated at the end of
the 1980s and since then several other power plants have
been commissioned. The electricity grid in the country
has been expanded at a high pace and in 2017 almost all
residents were reported to have access to electricity.
Nine years earlier, the figure was 60 percent.
Major exports by Bhutan with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Environmental care permeates all economic and social
planning in Bhutan. Both mining and the expansion of
hydropower and industry may to some extent be left
behind for environmental reasons. Car exhaust emissions
are carefully regulated. Environmental knowledge is one
of the basic topics in schools and residents are urged
through municipal campaigns not to waste on the streets
or in nature. Bhutan is one of the richest areas in the
world, and has been able to remain so in part thanks to
its strict environmental laws.
In recent years, however, reports have come of
increased environmental impact. The number of cars,
buses and trucks in Bhutan has multiplied over the past
two decades, according to the country's authorities.
Half of the vehicles are located in the capital Thimpu,
which has experienced problems with traffic congestion
and lack of parking spaces. The country lacks
infrastructure for so many vehicles and environmental
organizations warn of negative consequences for the
fragile mountain environment.
Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, BT stands for Bhutan.
FACTS - ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
358 kilos of oil equivalent (2007)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
1 001 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
1.3 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
86.9 percent (2015)