Climate and
Disaster Resilience

Sustainable energy

Many of the energy challenges in Europe and Central Asia are related to the region’s specific climatic, economic, environmental and political characteristics. Europe and Central Asia is blessed with almost universal household electrification (99.4 percent). However, the ageing energy supply infrastructure, a lack of supply diversification and increasing tariffs expose more and more people to power cuts and high electricity and gas bills, in addition to contributing significantly to climate change.

Although the region has tremendous untapped potential for almost all forms of sustainable energy, so far renewable energy sources (other than hydropower) account for only 1.38 percent of the energy supply. In recent years, however, the region has shown a positive trend in adopting sustainable energy technologies and installing solar PV and wind power plants.  UNDP helps to de-risk investments in sustainable energy, while expanding employment and livelihood opportunities as energy services progressively develop. For instance, in 2019- 2020, within the UNDP/OFID project more than 40 solar driers were sold out through 20% grant funding to low-income residents including cooperatives of disabled people and women-led small businesses in Kyrgyzstan.

In Croatia, UNDP supported schools to launch solar trackers – solar-powered devices that follow the sun during the day.
At the ENERGEL summer camp, Moldovan children study an engaging renewable energy and efficiency curriculum.
Throughout Montenegro, newly installed smart solar benches use built-in sensors to provide data on air quality, temperature and noise.
A UNDP/GEF project promoting energy efficiency in buildings has had a wide impact in construction and design practice in Turkmenistan.

UNDP continues to support comprehensive energy sector transformation programmes, by:

  • Accelerating the market adoption of clean technologies
  • Building capacities in local financial institutions to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency
  • Improving policy, legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Raising awareness and building capacities of key government institutions; and
  • Piloting site-specific technical solutions.

For example, in Armenia, foreign direct investment has been secured to restore a municipal district heating system. In Kazakhstan, state-funded programmes have scaled up UNDP’s pilot investments.

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