Green Energy Systems in Mongolia

At a Glance

Publication Date February 2015
Format pdf
Author David von Hippel
Country Mongolia
Thematic Area Sustainable Energy

Ulannbaatar cityscapeMongolia’s recent period of growth has relied primarily on mineral wealth and energy production to fuel the economy and forward national development. The Mongolian government is aware of this over-reliance and the problems it creates for sustainable economic growth and the country’s environmental sustainability.

The Strategies for Development of Green Energy Systems in Mongolia report presents plausible Mongolian green energy systems that would reduce GHG emissions, improve air quality, and facilitate other socio-economic benefits. The report includes recommendations based on an analysis of 4 different scenarios forecasting Mongolia’s energy supply and demand within the industry, transport, buildings, and agriculture sectors.

Reference Scenario

The reference scenario forecasts a Mongolia that continues to rely on mineral extraction for its primary source of energy, both for export and domestic consumption. This scenario sees total energy demand more than doubling in Mongolia between 2010 and 2035, with demand for electricity and petroleum products growing especially fast. In the reference scenario, overall GHG emissions rise to approximately 56 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2035 from a benchmark of just over 15 million tons in 2010.

Recent Plans Scenario

This scenario describes the potential impact to energy supply and demand in Mongolia as a result of the successful implementation of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency plans adopted by the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Environment and Green Development. The recent plans scenario would see total GHG emissions rise to about 46 million tons of carbon dioxide by 2035.

Expanded Green Energy Scenario

In this scenario, Mongolia makes a stronger transition to renewable energy and implements extensive energy efficiency measures across its economy. These initiatives help reduce energy demand by 32% when compared to the reference scenario, while the realization of multiple hydro, solar PV and wind power projects, increase the contribution of renewable energy to electricity production to more than 40%. Reductions in energy demands coupled with increases in renewable energy production provides Mongolia with the option to phase out aging coal-fired power plants, and possibly avoid new plants altogether. As a result, GHG emissions would be half, or 28 million tons, of those forecast in the reference scenario.

Shifts in Energy Export Scenario

The shifts in energy export scenario realizes the same reduction in energy demand as the expanded green energy scenario, and differs only in that Mongolia has divested itself from mineral-based energy exports, in favor of renewable energy exports. The shift scenario would increase Mongolia’s “low-carbon competitiveness” within a global market where demand for fossil fuels has declined due to increasing concerns over climate change.

The Green Energy Systems in Mongolia report was prepared by the Government of Mongila and GGGI in collaboration with the Stockholm Environment Institute – U.S. Center.