Project: “Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Tajikistan”
Project funded by USAID
Duration project: 2010 -2012
Country: The Republic of Tajikistan
Shortage of electricity remains an acute issue in Tajikistan, which in the absence of fossil fuel reserves has solely rely on hydropower facilities. In the past, fossil fuels were used for heating in the residential sector. After gaining independence and the following economic and political stagnation, imports of fossil fuels felt by 10, since the most of population could not afford paying for fuels at market prices. At the same time, absence of any other options for heating and considerably low price for electricity led to significant increase of power consumption in the country. As a result, the hydropower sector fails to meet the high demand for power in the winter period any more and severe power rationing was imposed in the country, covering mainly the residential sector. The issue of winter electricity shortages adversely affects population living standards as well as substantially hinders entrepreneurial activity in the country.
The government intends to alleviate energy shortages and meet future electricity needs through further hydropower development. There are, however, substantial geopolitical obstacles facing these plans which will likely significantly hinder the further development of hydropower in the medium term. In addition, the extreme poverty, determining high non-payment rate for utilities services, also imposes significant financial barriers for building new power capacities. At the same time, little attention has been paid to energy efficiency improvement and small scale renewables development, which represents another opportunity to alleviate the problem.
It is estimated that the residential sector in Dushanbe consumes 53% (up to 70% in winter) of the total power supply in the city. Hundreds of existing municipal and residential buildings were constructed during Soviet times that are highly energy inefficient. Their thermal conditions are two to three times less efficient than those in developed countries. The centralized heating system covers only half of apartment buildings in the city, but since about 2/3rd of the system are out of order, only small fraction of the buildings has access to centralized heating. Under these circumstances and absence of natural gas, city dwellers mainly use portable electric heaters. According to local experts, the existing potential for energy savings in housing and communal services in the city of Dushanbe is estimated at about 30-35% of the current energy consumption.
There is an obvious need to promote energy efficiency measures in the residential sector to reduce the need for electricity and improve living and working conditions of population. In this way, energy efficiency potential utilization could significantly contribute to the economic development and poverty reduction goals of Tajikistan. Among the ways to improve energy efficiency in urban areas, thus, it is imperative to focus on design and implement measures to upgrade the thermal insulation in residential buildings, use of efficient heating equipment and alternative sources of energy, and to inform and educate/train people to conserve energy.
There is a need to work in the residential sector on the municipal level to demonstrate the use of available energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, and through that to raise the awareness about the existing problem and possible solutions among the citizens and governmental officials. Demonstration of good practices will make it easier to amend the existing legislation in the area of EE and energy saving and/or develop new underdeveloped by-laws and technical norms and regulations. CAREC in partnership with its Tajik country office has the willingness and capacity to implement such project.
The objective of the project is demonstrate potential of RES and EE technologies for improved heating services in the urban residential sector of Tajikistan and to lay the foundation for the sustainable development of this sector taking into account local as well as global environmental considerations.
In order to achieve the objective, the project set the following tasks: