From Megawatt Projects to Gigawatt Policy: Mongolia’s Energy Challenges and Opportunities

Every few months, the Mongolian government announces and signs a power purchasing agreement or license for a new power plant. Despite having approved over 60 power plant projects over the last few years, Mongolia today faces serious energy challenges, namely growing domestic demand — up to 7,100GWh in 2015 — and ageing or, more accurately, obsolete infrastructure. Mongolian foreign energy imports grew to 20% of overall electricity consumption in 2015. Yet there have been no major generators constructed in Mongolia since 1983. So what is preventing the successful development of additional power capacity? Why does Mongolia have so many projects in the pipeline, but so few successes? MICC finds one explanation for Mongolia’s lack of new capacity to be, almost paradoxically, the large number of projects currently under development.