In 2022, Mongolia’s economy was ranked 124th in in the world gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of copper ore, coal, gold, iron ore, and animal hair.
In 2016, Mongolia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 14% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to business-as-usual levels.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 100 % of the people in Mongolia had access to electricity. In 2022, the state-owned utility Ulaanbaatar Electricity Distribution Network used coal (91.2%) and renewable energy (8.8 %) to generate electricity in Mongolia. Wind is the dominant type 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 Project 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 by year end 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 by year end 2023.
In 2021, coal exports generated U.S. $2.74 Billion in revenue for Mongolia. In 2022, Mongolia was the 7th largest coal exporting country in the world.
Although Mongolia is a major coal exporter, the nation imports refined petroleum for transportation. In 2021, Mongolia imported U.S. $1.01 Billion for refined petroleum.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Volatile oil prices have contributed to Mongolia’s double digit 2023 rate of inflation. The cost of expensive refined petroleum is spurring Mongolia to accelerate the development of reliable, low cost renewable energy projects.
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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.