The Ministry of Energy and the World Bank jointly presented a new Clean Energy for Buildings Project, as reported by WB’s press service.

This project aims to boost energy efficiency in public buildings and create a better framework for clean energy investments in the buildings sector.

In Uzbekistan, the buildings sector accounts for 50% of the total final energy consumption, followed by the industry and transport sectors at 22% and 20%, respectively. In the public buildings sector, heating is responsible for about 70% of the energy consumption in regional hospitals, 84% in pre-schools, 88% in rural clinics, and 97% in public schools.

Most public buildings in the country were constructed in the 1970s-1980s with little attention to energy efficiency, the WB noted. Thus, the facilities are poorly insulated, operate below thermal comfort standards, and use old boilers and water heating systems with high energy intensity.

In 2021, the World Bank conducted a study that found that the annual energy savings potential from increased energy efficiency in pre-schools, schools, and healthcare facilities of Uzbekistan could reach over 7,000 GWh, including thermal savings of around 6,810 GWh and electricity one of over 240 GWh.

In June 2022, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a $143 million concessional credit for Uzbekistan to implement the Clean Energy for Buildings Project. The project will invest in the energy efficiency of public buildings across the country, strengthening the building sector’s resilience to climate change and reducing energy consumption and gas emissions.

World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan Marco Mantovanelli.World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan Marco Mantovanelli.

The project is being implemented by the Intersectoral Energy Savings Fund (IESF) under the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan. The Fund was created in 2020 to finance activities improving energy efficiency in industrial, social, and residential sectors.

Through this project, the IESF will finance activities improving energy efficiency in buildings under the Ministry of Pre-school and School Education and Ministry of Health, located in rural and urban areas. It is planned that during the project’s life cycle in 2023−2028, over 500 social facilities across the country, including pre-schools, schools, hospitals, and polyclinics, will be modernized and refurbished to improve their energy efficiency.

The services provided by the IESF will include energy audits, designing energy efficiency measures, procuring and financing works, as well as measuring and verifying energy savings.

The public buildings covered by the project will be modernized to meet national thermal comfort standards and avoid their under- or overheating. The project activities will decrease energy consumption, and improve air quality, the security of the energy supply, particularly during the winter months, and the quality of public services, providing improved comfort to the users of the above-mentioned educational and health facilities, the WB stated.

Typical energy efficiency measures will include insulation and improvement of building envelopes, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting systems, as well as replacing coal boilers with renewable energy options such as integrated solar electricity panels with heat pumps and/or solar collectors.

In addition, the project will also help run public outreach activities to enhance energy efficiency awareness.