Severe climate conditions in Turkmenistan make effective heating and cooling in buildings essential to well-being of the country’s 5.11 million inhabitants. Temperatures range from an average of -6C in Northeastern Turkmenistan in January to maximum temperatures of 48-50C in the Central and Southeast Karakum in the summer. For this reason, cooling issues in the housing stock are as important as heating issues.
At present, neither new construction nor refurbishment projects consider the energy performance of the buildings involved. The buildings being constructed and refurbished now without any attention to energy efficiency are effectively “locking in” patterns of energy consumption – and associated greenhouse gas emissions -- for the next several decades that needlessly high. Even before the construction boom, emissions in the residential sector totalled more than 3 million tonnes of CO2, or nearly 10% of total CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. Now, these emissions play an increasing role in the overall share of greenhouse gas emissions in Turkmenistan, and the residential sector are the third largest source of emissions in the country. Without intervention, these emissions will continue to grow unchecked.
In the past decade, the Government of Turkmenistan has promoted a number of policies to encourage an increase in housing construction and to increase private sector investment in construction, including the introduction of credit lines and mortgages for housing. Private sector investment increased from 55% of total investment in the housing sector in 2000 to 77% in 2007, which has also led to a 3-fold increase in overall investment in housing construction. The subsequent “boom” in housing construction has resulted in a 45% increase in the housing stock from 2000 to 2007, and government programs will continue to support increased rates of construction. While in 2000, per capita living space in Turkmenistan averaged 17.8 m2, in 2007 it was 19.9 m2, and the government target has been set at 21.1 m2 by the year 2020. Furthermore, investment in the housing sector is expected to nearly double from 2010 to 2015.
The project will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy management and reducing energy consumption in the residential sector in Turkmenistan. The project aims at strengthening incentives and capacity to build highly energy-efficient buildings, develop capacity at Turkmengas to identify end-use energy savings in its housing stock and implement investments to reduce end-use energy consumption, introduce improved highly-efficient design measures to major housing designers and developers, and replicate these measures through protocols for energy-saving measures in prototype buildings and through mainstreaming energy-efficiency issues into policies and programs.