Soaring Oil Prices Encourages Mongolia To Accelerate Renewables Development

National Economy

The population of Mongol Uls (Mongolia) is approximately 3.40 million people[1]. In 2020, 98.1 % of the people in this East Asian country had access to electricity[2].

In 2021, Mongolia’s economy was ranked 134th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of gold, coal, copper ore, iron ore, and animal hair.

Environment Policies

In 2016, Mongolia signed the Paris Climate Agreement[5], committing to a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, the state-owned utility Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network[6] used coal (88.3%) and renewable energy (11.7 %) to generate electricity in Mongolia. Wind is the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Mongolia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Mongolia include:

  • 55 MW Wind Project – In September 2018, French power company ENGIE commissioned the Sainshand Wind Park at a site approximately 280 miles southeast of the nation’s capital, Ulaanbaatar.
  • 30 MW Solar Project – German renewable energy company, VSB Holding is continuing work on the Arvaikherr Solar Power Plant at a site approximately 150 miles southwest of Ulaanbaatar. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2023.
  • 3 MW Solar + 3.6 MWh Energy Storage Project – Japanese engineering company, JGC Holdings is continuing work on a solar plus energy storage project at a site approximately 500 miles west of Ulaanbaatar. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2023.


In 2020, coal exports generated U.S. $2.12 Billion in revenue for Mongolia[7]. In 2021, Mongolia was the 8th largest coal exporting country[8] in the world.

Although Mongolia is a major coal exporter, the nation imports refined petroleum for transportation. In 2020, Mongolia spent[9] U.S. $780 Million for imported refined petroleum.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the United States, Canada, and the European Union to place embargos on Russian exports. The international price for crude oil increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Mongolia’s cost for imported refined petroleum is projected to soar, fueling rampant inflation. Soaring oil prices is encouraging Mongolia to accelerate development of low-cost, reliable renewable energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.


[1] Mongolia Population (2020) –  November 17, 2022,

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Mongolia

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2021 – Worldometer

[4] Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Mongolia

[5] Carbon Brief “Paris 2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Mongolia: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – South Africa Exports

[8] Coal Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

[9] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – South Africa Imports

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