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Claremont McKenna College

Publication Date

Spring 2017

Program Name

Mongolia: Nomadism, Geopolitics, and the Environment


As the international community looks promote sustainable development in developing countries, many policies have focused on the introduction of renewable energy technology (RET). For Mongolia specifically, RET is both a viable and optimal option, considering the country’s vast natural resources and the unsustainability of the country’s existing energy system. However, Mongolia has faced challenges with the development of its RET sector and still largely relies on international assistance and funding to develop largescale projects.

This study analyzes the barriers that Mongolia faces to the effective diffusion of RET into Mongolian society. Over the course of four weeks, 10 individuals were interviewed and 94 individuals were surveyed on their opinions of the energy sector and renewable energy technologies in Mongolia. Interviews and surveys were conducted and distributed in various localities within Mongolia, including Ulaanbaatar, Darkhan, Salkhit, and Hatgal. Results indicate a large gap between the level of public involvement with renewable energy and the government’s goals for Mongolia’s renewable energy sector. This gap is largely due to insufficient public education regarding renewable energy. While the government of Mongolia is partially responsible for the public’s lack of awareness, data collected indicate that the government of Mongolia is not adequately equipped with sufficient institutional knowledge to educate the public.

Thus, international actors able to assist developing countries with the implementation of renewable energy technology must ensure that any assistance is all-encompassing and contributes to the establishment of sustainable systems within developing countries, rather than promoting short-term programs that fail to fully initiate a societal shift towards the use of renewable energy. This is especially important in Mongolia, where barriers to the diffusion of renewable energy technology can be overcome with additional international guidance and successful technological transfer.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Asian Studies | Community-Based Research | Economics | Family, Life Course, and Society | Growth and Development | International Economics | Organization Development | Work, Economy and Organizations


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