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Bhutan to add more solar capacity to reduce reliance on imports - minister

BENGALURU, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Bhutan will add around 300 to 400 megawatts (MW) of solar energy generation capacity in the next two to three years to reduce its dependency on electricity imports from India, the Himalayan kingdom's minister for economic affairs said on Monday.

"Currently, Bhutan produces around 2,345 MW during surplus time, when there is water... But that comes down to 500 MW in winter and that's why we need to import from India," Loknath Sharma, Bhutan's economic affairs minister told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Week conference in Bengaluru.

Bhutan generates most of its energy from hydropower, a clean source, but that is not enough to fulfil the country's energy needs throughout the year, Sharma said.

"More industries are coming to Bhutan... therefore we just want to have more solar in the mix over the next few years," Sharma said.

He did not say who would finance and build the additional capacity. (Reporting by Shariq Khan; Editing by Susan Fenton)