News.MN Reports on Mongolia’s Shift to Clean Energy

The World Energy Crisis: Mongolia’s Commitment and Challenges

On International Day of Clean Energy, which was inaugurated on January 26, 2024, the global community was reminded of the promise to combat climate change and the urgent need for a just and inclusive transition towards clean energy. At COP28, countries agreed to recognize the necessity for collective progress in transitioning away from fossil fuels, which are responsible for nearly 90% of global carbon dioxide emissions. The transition away from fossil fuels is crucial, and to achieve net zero by 2050, it would require tripling the renewable energy capacity and doubling the global rate of energy efficiency by 2030.

Mongolia, a country whose energy sector predominantly relies on coal, contributing over 90% to electricity generation, cannot afford to stay behind in this global shift. The Government of Mongolia has set targets outlined in the State Policy on Energy 2015–2030, aiming for a renewable energy share of 20% by 2023 and 30% by 2030 of its installed capacity.

Challenges remain for Mongolia in this transition. The country’s economy is heavily reliant on the production of coal, which significantly contributed to its export revenue in 2023 and 90% to its power generation needs. Additionally, barely 50% of the population has access to clean cooking fuels, and the lack of infrastructure such as access roads and transmission and grid networks are major hurdles.

Furthermore, Mongolia’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels is posing major health risks to its people, particularly in urban areas like Ulaanbaatar, where air pollution reaches hazardous levels during winter months.

Despite these challenges, there are examples of success. Mongolia’s nomadic herders have pioneered the adoption of solar panels, with over 200,000 herder households utilizing solar energy as a result of the government’s ‘100,000 Solar Ger Electrification Program supported by the World Bank.

While the challenges are significant, Mongolia’s commitment to renewable energy and the urgency of the situation highlight the need for robust clean energy infrastructure and substantial investment both foreign and domestic to achieve a just and rapid transition. The global community must support and encourage Mongolia in its efforts to shift towards renewable and clean energy for the benefit of both the people and the planet.


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