Astana, Kazakhstan – The Second Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting of the European Union (EU) funded project “Sustainable Energy Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)” convened in Astana today. Officials from the countries of Central Asia (CA), members of the PSC designated by their respective governments, and representatives of the EU gathered at the event.

The PSC meeting, convened once a year, is an important event for the stakeholders to come together and discuss the project progress and the way forward.

SECCA is a four-year project and has recently passed the midpoint of its implementation timeline. During the meeting, Team Leader Mr Paata Janelidze and Key Expert Ms Ilze Purina presented a comprehensive update on the status of project activities, highlighting achievements and outlining a work plan for the next 6-month period.

The participants discussed the provided update, expressed confidence in the SECCA’s trajectory and commended the project experts for their efforts and hard work.

Mr Johannes Baur, Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Kazakhstan concluded: “SECCA is successfully working in Central Asia. We highly appreciate the interest and involvement of all partners in the beneficiary countries. This PSC meeting has reaffirmed our shared dedication to building a cleaner, more connected energy future for the region”.


Meeting materials


Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – The new Law “On Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency” was officially published and entered into force in Turkmenistan. It establishes the legal, economic and organisational framework for stimulating energy conservation and increasing energy efficiency in the country.

The Law:

  • provides definition of basic concepts such as state energy inspection, energy passport, energy survey, energy efficiency indicator, fuel and energy resources consumption standards, and others
  • enshrines the rights and obligations of energy consumers
  • defines the competencies of government bodies in the field of energy conservation and compliance monitoring
  • introduces mandatory state energy inspections of facilities and buildings and determines the procedure for conducting energy audits
  • provides for measures to stimulate energy saving, including preferential loans, tax preferences and tariff policy
  • reinforces the legal regulation in the field of energy saving
  • prioritises the scientific, technical and economic feasibility of energy-saving measures, introduction of energy-efficient equipment, technologies and materials
  • pays particular attention to international cooperation and information support.

The European Union through its SECCA project has been providing technical support to the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan in studying the international and European experience in deployment of energy efficiency. The project also focuses on raising general public awareness on the efficient use of energy and benefits of sustainable energy.

Turkmenistan – The SECCA project team visited Turkmenistan from 11 to 20 March 2024 and held a series of meetings with the state and international partners in Ashgabat, as well as the workshop and the international conference in Mary.

The Turkmen government prioritises improving EE. In Ashgabat, the project experts met with the representatives of the Ministry of Energy to discuss further cooperation on the steps to enhance EE, develop the renewable energy sector and raise awareness about sustainable energy.

As part of the visit, the Training workshop “International practice in implementation of innovative EE technologies and Energy survey” was held in Mary on 13-19 March 2024. The participants, among them the faculty members and students of the State Energy Institute, national and international energy experts, reviewed the international, European and Central Asian countries’ experience and best practices in implementation of innovative EE technologies in the electric power industry, buildings, transport sectors, as well as methodology and objectives of conducting residential and public buildings energy surveys.

On 18 March 2024, the International Conference “Prospects for introduction of green innovative energy efficiency technologies in the electric power industry of Turkmenistan” took place with participation of the industry professionals from Turkmenistan, the EU, and other countries of Central Asia. The delegates discussed the European and international practices in implementation of green EE technologies in the electric power industry and certification of passive public buildings, as well as and RE development paths in Turkmenistan.

Both of these events were organised jointly by the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan, the SECCA project, and the UNDP Project “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Awaza”.

Global energy consumption continues to rise, driven by factors such as population growth, urbanisation, industrialisation, and economic development. Efforts to improve energy efficiency are critical for managing global energy consumption and addressing sustainability challenges. By reducing the amount of energy needed to provide goods and services, energy efficiency measures can help decouple economic growth from energy consumption, enabling societies to achieve their development goals while minimising environmental impacts.

Improving energy efficiency is essential for achieving sustainable development goals, combating climate change, and ensuring a brighter, more sustainable future for people and the planet. But what is energy efficiency? What are its benefits? What can we do to start using energy more efficiently? Read on to find out.

What is Energy Efficiency?

Energy efficiency (EE) simply means using less energy to perform the same task. This involves optimising processes, technologies, and behaviours to reduce energy waste and improve performance across various sectors such as industry, transportation, buildings, and appliances.


EE brings a variety of benefits:

  • cost savings: EE technologies lower the costs on a household and economy-wide level and help save money on energy bills
  • community benefits: EE programmes improve community resilience and address energy poverty by bringing efficient, cost-effective technologies and infrastructure
  • environmental benefits: reducing energy use is essential in the fight against climate change, because traditional power plants burn fossil fuels that release greenhouse gases and contribute to environmental pollution
  • health benefits: reducing fossil fuel use results in cleaner air, water, and land, all of which directly affect human health — especially those in marginalised communities and people with conditions that are exacerbated by pollution
  • resilience and reliability: EE improvements reduce the amount of electricity on the grid at one time, minimising congestion and stress on the electric grid. Less load prevents power disruptions.

There is a special international day — the World Energy Efficiency Day, celebrated annually on 6 March to raise awareness on the need to take action towards improving EE.

What are the key European Union policies on EE?

The European Union (EU) has long been committed to enhancing EE as a cornerstone of its environmental and economic strategies. Energy Efficiency First has been a guiding principle that complements other EU objectives, particularly in the areas of sustainability, climate neutrality and green growth.


In line with the European Green Deal and the ‘Fit for 55’ package, the EU revised its key legislation on EE, namely, the Energy Efficiency Directive in 2023, and the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is going to be adopted in 2024.

The recast Energy Efficiency Directive established new legally binding targets for Member States:

  • to reduce final energy consumption by at least 11.7 % compared to projections of the expected energy use for 2030, across sectors such as buildings, transport, and industry
  • to achieve an average annual energy savings rate of 1.49 % from 2024 to 2030
  • to prioritise EE improvements for vulnerable customers, low-income households, and individuals in social housing, including within the scope of the energy savings obligation
  • to introduce an annual energy consumption reduction target of 1.9 % for the public sector
  • to extend the annual 3% buildings renovation obligation to all the levels of public administration.

Notably, the EU countries will now be legally required to prioritise EE in policymaking, planning, and major investments.

Pursuant the European Commission’s 2020 strategy “A Renovation Wave for Europe”, the recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive obliges the EU Member States to establish long-term renovation strategies to support the renovation of their national building stock into a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock by 2050.

The EU also promotes research and innovation (R&I) in energy-efficient technologies through programmes such as Horizon Europe, which many third countries can also participate in and benefit from, including the countries of Central Asia.

Why do the countries of Central Asia prioritise EE?

We are witnessing a growing demand for energy in Central Asia (CA), as the populations and economies of the region grow. The commitment of the CA countries to improving EE is evident in their national strategies and legislative framework. It is essential for their people, businesses, industry. CA nations often grapple with challenges in ensuring reliable energy supplies, both for domestic consumption and export. By reducing dependence on imported energy through efficiency measures, they can enhance their energy security.

Environmental and climate change concerns further drive the prioritisation of EE. The CA countries recognise the importance of mitigating the impacts of energy production and consumption and see EE as a key strategy in reducing their environmental footprint. Besides, the CA countries have made commitments to international agreements, such as Paris Agreement, and initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. Improving EE is a key strategy for meeting these commitments.

In summary, the imperative to improve EE in the CA countries arises from economic, environmental, energy security, social, and international commitments, making it a strategic priority for their sustainable development agendas.

What can we do to improve EE in our daily lives?

Here are several practical steps that we can take to use energy more efficiently:

  1. Educate yourself and others: Learn and spread awareness about the importance of EE and encourage friends, family, and colleagues to adopt energy-saving practices in their homes and workplaces.
  2. Adjust thermostat settings: use a programmable thermostat to regulate heating and cooling at home and at work;
  3. Reduce electric energy consumption: conserve energy by turning off lights, appliances, and electronics when not in use. Use natural light when possible;
  1. Dress for the weather: when you’re at home, dress in warm clothing in the winter and cooler clothing in the summer to stay comfortable without making your heater and AC work harder;
  1. Reduce phantom loads: unplug electronics and chargers when not in use to eliminate standby power consumption, also known as phantom loads;
  2. Use energy-efficient lighting: replace traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient alternatives like compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diodes (LEDs). These bulbs use less energy and last longer;
  3. Upgrade to energy-efficient appliances: when purchasing new appliances, for example, a new fridge or a washing machine, look for models with high EE ratings. These appliances consume less energy and can lead to significant savings over time;
  4. Reduce water consumption: conserve hot water by taking shorter showers, fixing leaks, and using energy-efficient fixtures such as low-flow showerheads and faucets. Additionally, wash clothes in cold water whenever possible to save energy;
  5. Optimise energy use in transportation: use public transportation, carpooling, biking, or walking instead of driving alone in a car. When driving, maintain proper tire pressure, avoid excessive idling, and combine errands to reduce fuel consumption;
  6. Improve home insulation: properly insulate your home to prevent heat loss during the winter and keep cool air inside during the summer. Seal gaps around doors and windows, and consider adding insulation to walls, floors, and attics.

What does the SECCA project do to increase EE in the countries of Central Asia?

The SECCA project is presently at the midpoint of its implementation timeline, and one of the project objectives is to share the EU best practices with Central Asia. Check out the following project events and news articles to learn more about the project work done so far in the field of improving EE in the countries of the region:









This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its content is the sole responsibility of the consortium led by Stantec and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – Improving the energy performance of buildings has many benefits for people, environment, and economy. It improves health and wellbeing of building users, saves energy, cuts down emissions, addresses energy poverty, and ensures energy independence.

The Kyrgyz Republic is prioritising energy efficiency and energy conservation efforts and has set to optimise energy use in government and public buildings[1] across the country as the first step towards reducing overall energy consumption in the buildings sector. According to International Energy Agency, energy savings potential in buildings in Kyrgyzstan is estimated at a minimum of 15 %, while modernisation and rehabilitation in the energy system could yield 25 % savings.[2]

Based on the European Union (EU) experience, the EU’s SECCA project had offered a technical support to the Science and Research Institute of Energy under the Ministry of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic (Institute) in the development of a Pilot Inventory of Public Buildings. This inventory will facilitate establishment of energy consumption targets and promote the economical and efficient use of energy resources. Consequently, it will contribute to saving budgetary funds, which can then be allocated towards the reconstruction of buildings.

Did you know that…

  • To achieve a zero-emission and fully decarbonised building stock by 2050, the EU has established a solid legislative framework and taken decisive actions. The EU’s revised Energy Efficiency Directive puts an obligation on the Member States to renovate every year 3 % of all public buildings to upgrade their energy performance. By 11 October 2025, the EU countries will have to establish and make publicly available an inventory of buildings that are owned or occupied by public bodies and that have a total useful floor area of more than 250 m2. In addition, to underline the exemplary role to be played by the public sector, there is a new annual energy consumption reduction target of 1.9 % for the public sector. The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires EU countries to develop national long-term renovation strategies, which must include policies and actions to target all public buildings.[3] Public buildings and social infrastructure are one of the focus areas of the Renovation Wave strategy, which is part of the European Green Deal, and aims to, amongst other, break down long-standing barriers to energy and resource-efficient renovation and support investment starting from public and less efficient buildings.[4]

The SECCA’s technical support in relation to development of the Pilot inventory included a review of the regulatory and institutional framework on energy performance of buildings in the country, developing an inventory mechanism for collecting detailed data, processing and analysing the collected data, and preparing recommendations for further development and implementation of the inventory mechanism for government and public buildings. Total 33 buildings have been selected to conduct the pilot inventory.

As a result of the review and analysis, SECCA Senior Expert Gulsara Kasymova has reviewed the responsibilities and tasks of government bodies directly authorised to implement the state policy in the field of energy performance of buildings and conduct the buildings inventory. She has also developed a Questionnaire on buildings inventory data collection, collected and analysed data on the energy consumption per square meter of useful area for the 33 buildings. The analysis revealed a wide variation in energy consumption across these buildings, with values ranging from 39.9 kWh/m2 to 845.35 kWh/m2, compared to the standardised value of 100 kWh/m2 to 250 kWh/m2.

The SECCA project will continue working with and providing consultations to the Institute on further development of the Pilot inventory of public buildings, as well as other stakeholders to strengthen national capacities for energy efficiency deployment.


Footnote and References:

[1] In the Kyrgyz Republic, the term “public buildings” refers to buildings and facilities designated for public use, including those occupied by authorities and administrative bodies.

[2] International Energy Agency, Kyrgyzstan Energy Profile: Sustainable Development, (Accessed on 19.02.2024)

[3] European Commission, Public Buildings, (Accessed on 19.02.2024)

[4] European Commission (2020), A Renovation Wave for Europe – greening our buildings, creating jobs, improving lives, COM(2020) 662 final.


Relevant information:

As part of its technical assistance to the Kyrgyz Republic, the SECCA project has prepared a Draft New Framework for Quality Control System of Buildings Energy Performance Certification.

February 11 marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which was launched by the UN General Assembly in 2015 to acknowledge, promote and celebrate the role of girls and women in science and technology.

SECCA Communications Expert Nurgul Smagulova-Dulic sits down with Gender Specialist Silvia Sartori to dig deeper behind the meaning and relevance of this International Day.

Nurgul: Why is this day important?

Silvia: This international day is important to shed light on the contributions by women to scientific advancement but also to promote their full and equal participation in what are known as STEM fields, that is to say science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Currently these fields are confronted with a significant underrepresentation of girls and women. UNESCO, which is one of the implementers of this International Day together with UN Women, reports that women account only for 33.3% of global researchers.[1]

These imbalances reflect a larger, underlying gap between girls and boys, women and men in access to resources and assets, including education, and contributes to perpetuating existing inequalities.

That is why international days such as February 11 are not just important – they are necessary to draw attention to gender inequalities and to prompt action to address them from all angles.

Nurgul: What causes this female underrepresentation in STEM? And why does it matter?

Silvia: This gap starts very early, from cultural values and social expectations that discourage girls to embrace careers traditionally considered as “masculine”. This imbalance becomes visible at school already: according to UNICEF, 18% of girls in tertiary education are pursuing STEM studies, compared to 35% of boys. And if the number of boys and girls studying natural sciences is similar, girls are significantly lagging behind in engineering, manufacturing and construction.[2]

Other reasons include financial constraints, lack of female role models, unconscious bias in the learning environment or lack of gender-sensitive training and curricula. In the workplace, women are subject to discrimination and biases as well as limited mentorship and support networks.

The gender imbalance in STEM is crucial, in many respects. In terms of social justice, it deprives girls and women of equal opportunities.  In research and employment, it deprives the STEM sectors of the talents, skills and potential contributions from women. And this is all the more critical given the scale and relevance of the current global challenges we are confronted with, from climate change and decarbonisation to health emergencies, as we have recently experienced with COVID19.

Relying on a wide, innovative and diverse workforce is essential to manage these processes. It is also a business necessity, if we are to address significant talent shortages that are already visible in many sectors and regions.

Nurgul: Does this issue affect Europe, too?

Silvia: Female underrepresentation in STEM is a global problem. In Europe female researchers and engineers accounted for 41% of those employed in science and engineering in 2020. And only 19% of the workforce in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in 2021 was made of women.[3]

There are significant differences from country to country as well as nationally within each country. In 2020, for instance, Lithuania, Portugal and Denmark had a 52% share of female researchers and engineers compared to about 30% in Finland and Hungary.[4]

Nurgul: What approaches have been tested in Europe to address and try to reverse this trend?

Silvia: To encourage more female enrolment and employment in STEM studies and jobs, several initiatives have been launched, at different levels and by different stakeholders.

An example is the EU-funded “The Girls Go Circular Project”, which is equipping 40,000 schoolgirls aged 14-19 across Europe with digital and entrepreneurial skills by 2027. Through an online learning programme about the circular economy, it supports girls developing their own solutions to societal and environmental challenges. The project also organises every year the “Women and Girls in STEM Forum”.

At the national level, there are initiatives such as the Spanish programme “Mujeres con Ciencia” (“Women with Science”) which supports the participation of women in scientific research by providing funding for research projects, training, and networking opportunities.

Civil society and private sector are also active in promoting wider engagement of girls in ICT and STEM. There is for instance the “HKUnicorn Squad” in Estonia, a privately funded, girls-only technology hobby group movement that gathers girls in lower secondary schools and tries to reduce their “fear of technology”, increase their interest in technology and robotics, and scientifically measures if a “girls only” approach generates different impacts compared to mixed classes.

Nurgul: What is the situation of girls and women in STEM in Central Asia?

Silvia: Girls and women in Central Asia are affected by the same types of challenges described above, including gender stereotypes, lack of role models, cultural barriers and employment discrimination. Additionally, for those who live in remote or rural areas, access to quality education, including in STEM, is further out of reach. The share of women in STEM fields in the region varies by country and by area within STEM.

Nevertheless, UNESCO data indicate that Central Asia boasts the highest ratio, globally, of female researchers. With a 49,6% rate, in 2020 the region almost approached gender equality, and was almost 20 percentage points ahead of the world average.  It is noteworthy that in 2022 women accounted for 54% of Kazakhstan’s researchers![5]

Also, when looking at some specific fields, such as female graduates in energy disciplines, recent figures from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are similar to those from France, Germany and the USA.[6]

On the other hand, it is difficult to draw a picture on the status of Central Asian women’s employment in STEM fields, in terms of both the share of women employed and of the type of positions they hold. Many countries in the region do not regularly collect and publish gender-disaggregated data on STEM employment, nor do they necessarily share the same definition of “STEM” fields. This affects the collection and comparability of data. Estimates suggest that Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have the highest share of women employed in STEM in the region.

Nurgul: How does this relate to the work of the SECCA project?

Silvia: The project mainstreams gender equality throughout its activities in support of the transition towards sustainable energy in Central Asia. For instance, we always strive to ensure the collection of gender-disaggregated data and proactively try to engage women professionals as trainers or speakers in the activities we organise. The project also holds dedicated activities to enhance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the energy field. We are currently compiling Gender Assessments in the region to analyse the relation between gender and sustainable energy.



[1] UNESCO, International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Available at:

[2] UNICEF, Mapping gender equality in STEM from school to work. Available at:

[3] EIT, Women and Girls in STEM Forum. Available at:

[4] Eurostat, More women join science and engineering ranks. Available at:

[5] EL KZ, Half of Kazakhstan’s researchers are women. Available at:

[6] OSCE, Advancing a Just Energy Transition in Central Asia: Women’s Key Role in the Energy Sector. Available at:


This publication was funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the consortium led by Stantec and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.


Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – Experts of the Ministry of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic, Research Institute of Energy under the Ministry of Energy and the State Agency for Architecture, Construction and Housing and Utilities (Gosstroy) under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic and other institutions attended a Round table discussion Quality Control of Energy Performance Certificates (EPC). The event was organised jointly by the Ministry of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic and the European Union (EU) funded SECCA project.

The Round table discussion follows the technical workshop held in October 2023, which resulted in a proposal for an improved approach to EPC quality control (QC), its main elements and alternative options or implementation models.

Kyrgyzstan’s commitment to improving energy efficiency (EE) is evident in its national strategies and legislative framework. Issuing EPCs for buildings, adopted from the EU models, has been a progressive step towards enhancing EE and transparency in the real estate market. However, the evolution of EE standards and the recognition of the critical role that EPCs play in the nation’s energy landscape have brought to light a significant gap – the absence of a rigorous QC mechanism. This gap has implications for the credibility of the EPCs and, by extension, the decision-making processes of consumers, investors, and policymakers.

Upon request of the Ministry of Energy, Institute of Energy and Gosstroy experts, SECCA project experts Karolis Januševičius and Nurzat Abdyrasulova have prepared a Draft Report “Conceptualization of Quality Control for Energy Performance Certification of Buildings and Implementation Roadmap in Kyrgyzstan”. This report presents a comprehensive analysis of the existing legal framework relevant to EE, institutional setup and gaps in the current situation. Furthermore, it proposes a new framework for EPC quality control and a pragmatic 5-stage implementation roadmap (Figure 1) for advancing the EPC system in Kyrgyzstan.

Figure 1: Implementation Roadmap for the EPC Quality Control System in Kyrgyzstan.

Find the full Presentation on the Implementation Roadmap in this link.

This Roadmap lays out a structured and phased approach to implementing a QC system for EPCs in Kyrgyzstan. It draws on EU best practices while being tailored to the specific needs and conditions of the Kyrgyz context.

The experts conclude that the success of this Roadmap is contingent upon strong institutional commitment, a willingness to learn and adapt, and the active participation of all stakeholders. With these elements in place, Kyrgyzstan can look forward to a robust and reliable EPC system that contributes significantly to the country’s EE and sustainability goals, as well as sets a regional example in building EPC.

The SECCA project intends to submit final deliverables related to this assignment to the Ministry of Energy and Institute of Energy in March 2024.

Astana, Kazakhstan – The national experts of Kazakhstan on energy efficiency attended a Round table discussion “Quality Control of Energy Audits for the Industry” organised jointly by the Ministry of Industry and Construction of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Ministry), the European Union (EU) funded SECCA project, and the Electric Power and Energy-Saving Development Institute (EEDI) of Kazakhstan.

Kazakhstan, recognising the importance of energy efficiency, has implemented a robust policy framework to address challenges posed by its energy-intensive economy and reliance on fossil fuels. The country’s approach involves significant stakeholder engagement, including government ministries, energy auditors, and international partners. However, issues related to compliance and the execution of mandatory actions following energy audits have hindered the effectiveness of mandatory energy audits. A structured quality control (QC) system for energy audits is crucial in Kazakhstan’s efforts to enhance energy efficiency in its industrial sector.

The SECCA project initiated cooperation with EEDI in summer 2023 with an overall objective to introduce an updated and enhanced energy audits QC system for the industrial sector in Kazakhstan. A technical workshop followed in September 2023 for the parties to discuss key elements of a quality management system, value delivered through energy audits, the initial assessment of strengths and, improvement potential of the current QC of energy audits in Kazakhstan, feasible changes to the current setup and potential barriers and solutions for implementing proposed improvements.

Subsequently, upon the request of the Ministry and EEDI, SECCA’s Senior expert in Energy auditing Mr Karolis Januševičius has prepared a Draft Report “Conceptualization of Quality Control for Mandatory Energy Audits and Implementation Roadmap in Kazakhstan”. This draft document, presenting a thorough analysis and a strategic 5-stage implementation plan (Figure 1) for improving Kazakhstan’s existing system, was submitted to the EEDI review, and then discussed during the Round Table.

Figure 1: Implementation Roadmap for the Quality Control of Energy Audits for the Industry in Kazakhstan.

Find the full Presentation on the Implementation Roadmap in this link.

This roadmap is designed to integrate a comprehensive QC system for energy audits, aligning with the EU best practices and ensuring adaptability to the specific context of Kazakhstan to enhance the effectiveness of energy audits, thus contributing to the country’s energy efficiency and sustainable development objectives.

The SECCA project intends to submit the conclusive Final Report to the Ministry in March 2024. It is expected to encapsulate the refined framework for energy audit QC, drawing on collaborative insights and experiences from both the EU and Kazakhstani experts, to foster enduring improvements in energy efficiency practices within Kazakhstan’s industrial sector.

Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – SECCA Key Experts (KEs) Paata Janelidze and Ilze Purina met with the students of the Institute of International Relations (IIR) under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and delivered a presentation on “Sustainable Energy Development in the Context of Global Climate Change: SECCA Project Approaches”. More than 80 students attended this meeting.

During the meeting, the KEs officially awarded Mr Rakhmangylych Annageldyyew, the IIR student and the I prize winner of the European Union’s regional reel contest #Reels4SustainableEnergy, with the Certificate of Award. In November 2023, Mr Annageldyyew took part in the SECCA study tour to Latvia, which was the main prize of the contest, and learned about the Latvian experience in promotion of energy efficiency.

In their presentation, the KEs provided a brief information on the problem of climate change, climate financing, sustainable energy, general approach to national energy and climate planning, and the project’s experience of organising Sustainable Energy Days (SED) in Central Asia. SED in Turkmenistan was held in Mary just a week before on 14-15 December 2023.

Mary, Turkmenistan The European Union – Turkmenistan Sustainable Energy Days took place in the city of Mary.  The lectures for faculty members and students of the State Energy Institute, the Ecological action for schoolchildren, and the Award Ceremony to recognise the Most Energy Efficient School of Mary were organised as part of this campaign on 15 December 2023.

The campaign was held by the European Union (EU) through its project “Sustainable Energy Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)”, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated development of green cities in Ashgabat and Avaza”, and with the support of the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan, and the Hyakimlik of Mary Velayat.

Teachers and senior schoolchildren, representatives of the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education, State Energy Institute, Education Department of the Mary Velayat, and the Mary Hyakimlik, UNDP and SECCA projects teams participated in the Ecological action for schoolchildren and the Award Ceremony to recognise the Most Energy Efficient School of Mary.

The Ecological action for schoolchildren included an introductory lecture on interlinkage of energy and climate change, sources of energy, and transition to green energy, a quiz challenge “Energy Efficiency Champions” , an art challenge “Our choice: Green Energy! Our future: Green Planet!” and a ceremony of planting trees. The UNDP’s “Climate Box” – a comprehensive learning toolkit designed specifically for educating schoolchildren about climate change and sustainable energy – was used for this action.

At the Award ceremony, School 28 was announced as the most energy efficient school among 36 public schools of Mary. The Evaluation Committee consisting of representatives of the Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Education, State Energy Institute, Education Department of the Mary Velayat, and the Mary Hyakimlik carefully examined the schools based on a number of criteria, including electricity, natural gas, water consumption, consumption of thermal energy from other sources, number of green areas, implementation of energy efficiency and energy saving measures, relevant capacity building of teachers. Schools №23, №24, №25, №26, №29, which were shortlisted in the competition, received certificates of appreciation.

Ms Beata Peksa, EU Ambassador to Turkmenistan, said: “By sustainable energy, we understand achieving climate neutrality, deploying renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. Efforts to raise awareness, such as the Sustainable Energy Days, are instrumental in motivating citizens to act together and build healthy and green future for ourselves and future generations. I wholeheartedly congratulate winning School 28, its teachers and students, for this outstanding achievement. I also celebrate the shortlisted schools. I believe with your dedication to sustainability and environmental protection a lot of good things can be done.”

Ms Jemal Durdykova, UNDP project expert, said: “One of the goals of UNDP is to make individual and collective decisions and actions that will lead us to a sustainable future, since the fight against climate change is a common task that concerns everyone. In this regard, it is important not only to lead an ecological lifestyle ourselves, but also to push other people to a more sustainable lifestyle.”

In addition, the same day, more than 250 faculty members and students of the State Energy Institute took part in the lectures delivered by the experts from the EU Member States, Energy Community Contracting Parties, and of the SECCA project. The topics included the energy efficiency in buildings, ecodesign and energy labelling of electric appliances, prospects and challenges of green hydrogen production development, participation of the Central Asian countries in the EU’s “Horizon Europe” and “Horizon 2020” programmes.

On 14 December 2023, the International Conference “Sustainable energy in Turkmenistan: prospects and challenges” was held in Mary, within the campaign.


The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 European countries. It is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. It acts globally to promote sustainable development of societies, environment and economies, so that everyone can benefit.

The EU-funded project “Sustainable Energy Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)” (from March 2022 to March 2026) aims to promote a sustainable energy mix in the Central Asia region in line with EU best practices. To fulfil its mission, SECCA strives to provide for strengthened and more inclusive policy, regulatory and institutional framework for the transition to a sustainable energy system, within a regional context, and focuses on contributing to the fulfilment of international human rights commitments in CA countries, including equal access to energy, and supporting gender inclusive policies and legislation for energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE). The project activities include capacity development for EE and RE deployment, awareness raising on EE and RE, and improving investment climate for EE and RE projects. Website:

UNDP project “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated development of green cities in Ashgabat and Avaza”. The objective of the project is to significantly reduce the negative effects of urban growth in Turkmenistan and simultaneously achieve the goals of social and economic development. To this end, the project provides technical assistance, organizational and political support, the organization and development of programs, as well as the promotion of behavior change in combination with national priorities and specific needs formulated by the Government. The measures introduced in Ashgabat and Avaza have led to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and social benefits in themselves, as well as creating the basis for replication in other regions of Turkmenistan.

The Energy Community is an international organisation which brings together the European Union and its neighbours to create an integrated pan-European energy market. Its key objective is to extend the EU internal energy market rules and principles to countries in South East Europe, the Black Sea region and beyond on the basis of a legally binding framework. The Energy Community has nine Contracting Parties: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ukraine.

The EU–Turkmenistan Sustainable Energy Days is part of the broader EU–Central Asia Sustainable Energy Days campaign. Its purpose is to enhance the awareness of all national stakeholder groups and the broader public in the region on the significance, benefits and accessibility of sustainable energy.

For additional information, please contact Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova, Communication strategist, SECCA, email:, WhatsApp: +77019814020, Mrs Nurgul Smagulova-Dulic, Digital Communication Expert, SECCA, email:, WhatsApp: +77012066760, or the EU Delegation to Turkmenistan:

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