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The Results of the Largest Conference on Energy Efficiency Have Been Summarized

The Second International Conference “Facilitation and Practical Experience of Attracting Investments in Energy Efficiency Improvements in the Republic of Belarus” was held in Minsk on 13 October within the framework of Belarus Sixteenth Energy and Environment Forum with support from the United Nations Development Programme. About 300 professionals from all regions of Belarus were given the opportunity to compare the experience of Belarus, Russia and Austria in the field of energy saving.

The presentations focused on energy efficiency improvements in the economic sector of Belarus. “Though we have achieved success, our intention is to double efforts for the improvement of energy efficiency, – Leonid Shenets, Deputy Chairman of the State Standardization Committee/Director of the Department on Energy Efficiency told the participants of the conference. – Savings are expected to total at least 7.1 million tons of equivalent fuel between 2011 and 2015. Spendings on the achievement of the economic effect are increasing every year. Over the last five years the payback period of our projects in the country has averaged 4.5-5 years.”

Energy saving should increasingly become the responsibility of businesses while the government should create conditions encouraging efficient allocations for energy generation, transmission and consumption, believes Farid Garakhanov, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus. For this purpose it is needed to develop and introduce energy management principles and this would certainly require certain amendment of the laws and regulations, adoption of new laws and resolutions on energy sector, energy service companies and public-private partnership. Similar directives have been successfully implemented in the EU countries for quite a long time.

Farid Garakhanov also emphasized encouraging results of cooperation between the Department on Energy Efficiency and the UN Development Programme: “Under the current UNDP/GEF project on energy efficiency improvements in Belarus, over US$ 15 million have been raised for the implementation of energy saving measures. The International Energy Center which was established in 2010 helps replicate the project results and can now invest about US$ 120 million in energy saving”.
The plenary session resulted in signing of the Memorandum on cooperation in the area of innovations, energy efficiency, energy saving and renewable sources of energy between the Russian Energy Agency of the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation and the Department on Energy Efficiency of the State Standardization Committee of the Republic of Belarus.

The working session discussions focused on energy efficiency projects which can be of interest for investors, experience of the implementation of energy saving measures, current impediments in interaction of the investment cycle participants, measures needed to improve  operation environment for independent power producers and other practical issues.

The conference was organized by the Department on Energy Efficiency and UNDP/GEF Project “Removing barriers to energy efficiency improvements in the state sector in Belarus”. Summarizing the results of the conference, UNDP/GEF Project Manager Aleksander Grebenkov said that “the conference became a platform for the effective public-private dialogue and demonstrated that the interests of the government and businesses are not yet aligned in all positions. During the roundtable with the Austrian experts the participants of the conference demonstrated high level of interest and received answers to many topical questions. Belarus can benefit from the Austrian experience of adopting progressive approaches to energy generation and consumption management and this is the area where public-private partnership is increasingly gaining strength. The United Nations Development Programme intends to continue cooperation with the Republic of Belarus and I do hope that next year we will keep this tradition and will hold the third international conference with the same success”.

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