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Energy Efficiency Investments in Belarus: an EU4Energy Roundtable Discussion

On 5 October 2017 in Minsk Belarus, the Energy Charter Secretariat convened the second task-force meeting intended to steer and support Belarus in increasing investments in energy efficiency. Members comprised representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economy, Department of Energy Efficiency, energy companies, international donors and the private sector. 

In recent years the Republic of Belarus has sought to develop and modernise the efficiency of its energy sector on both the demand and supply side, as well as to enhance its energy security by diversifying its resources. Such policy goals in either case cannot be attained without a significant amount of investment, both public and private. 

In this regard, task force members underlined the necessity to accelerate electricity sector reform, which entails the adoption of the draft Electricity Market Law, taking into account best European practices. Such a reform would be a major step towards overcoming the identified barriers to investments in increasing the efficiency of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. Furthermore, it would also stimulate the growth of renewables in Belarus.  

The range of topics the task-force discussed include the benefits and needs to establishing licensing procedures for various activities along the electricity supply chain, key provisions to be considered for model renewable energy contracts, how to develop an energy services market in Belarus, and how to promote the adoption of standardised energy management systems among large energy-consuming enterprises (e.g. ISO 50001). 

The taskforce meetings are taking place in the context of EU4Energy Governance, part of a wider European Union (EU) initiative geared towards providing technical assistance to neighbouring countries of the Eastern Partnership in elaborating and implementing their energy policies. As such, the experiences and best practices of EU member states are examined and considered for adoption in Belarus. Final meeting is scheduled for December 2017.