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Friday 15 January 2016

Tbilisi (Georgia): energy policy for the people

Back in the 1990s Georgia made first steps towards energy efficiency through small-scale donor supported programs. Since then, a lot has changed and climate and energy action has scaled up considerably. Much of it happens at the local level, thanks also to the Covenant of Mayors’ efforts in the area.

Photo credit : Clémentine Cisterne & Chloé Gossart

In order to increase the quality of life for its residents, the City council of the Georgian capital (1.2 million inhabitants) decided to join the "Covenant of Mayors" in 2010. Tbilisi’s participation in the project MODEL (“Management of Domains Related to Energy in Local Authorities”), coordinated by Energy Cities, had created the appropriate conditions to step up energy efficiency efforts. With MODEL, an energy team had been set up skilled to plan and implement energy efficiency measures within the municipality, to collect energy data and identify buildings with overconsumption. In 2015, Tbilisi became a dedicated member of our city network Energy Cities.

To meet the city’s commitments to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020, a number of projects have been initiated and implemented with and for different target groups.

Tackling the frailty of elderly

Combining energy and social issues is a trademark of Tbilisi’s policy work. A recent demonstration project in the city’s old people’s home allowed for important energy saving and renewable energy measures. Besides an energy efficiency upgrade of the building envelope, a natural gas-based heating and hot water supply system was installed and a solar thermal system with integrated heating and hot water supply was introduced. It is estimated that the introduction of above energy-efficient and saving solutions will not only reduce electricity consumption and energy bills by at least 40% and result in significant CO2 reductions. It will also contribute to raise the overall comfort level for the elderly and staff.

A partner for the general public

In April, Tbilisi will open its very first Sustainable Energy and Energy Efficiency Information Centre. The main objective of the Centre is to raise awareness and to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources among citizens, associations, businesses. By advising on sustainable technologies it will also facilitate the development of the country’s sustainable energy market whose growing potential is large.

A solar tree for better public spaces

Tbilisi Municipality City Hall plans to implement the so-called “Solar Tree” project to raise awareness amongst population about renewable energy systems. The solar-powered decorative structure (“Solar Tree” is a metallic tree-shaped construction with integrated bench for seating) will be placed in public space, such as parks, where local population and tourists are gathering. This will be the first of its kind to be implemented in Georgia.

Besides awareness-raising, the Solar Tree will also improve the quality of public space. Around the spot, residents and tourists will have an area in the park where they will be able to interact with each other or to rest while recharging their electric gadgets (laptops, smartphones etc.). As a result of the project implementation, with installed solar device of 300 watts capacity, CO2 - emissions will be reduced by 439 kg per year.

Find Tbilisi and other Georgian cities in our Best Practice Database



by Miriam Eisermann on 15 January 2016 / 723 visits




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