Terminal Evaluation of Biomass Energy for Employment and Energy Security Project

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Evaluation Plan:
2010-2014, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Evaluation Type:
Final Project
Planned End Date:
10/2014
Completion Date:
11/2014
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
9,000

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Title Terminal Evaluation of Biomass Energy for Employment and Energy Security Project
Atlas Project Number: 00046049
Evaluation Plan: 2010-2014, Bosnia and Hercegovina
Evaluation Type: Final Project
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 11/2014
Planned End Date: 10/2014
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2014-2017)
  • 1. Output 1.3. Solutions developed at national and sub-national levels for sustainable management of natural resources, ecosystem services, chemicals and waste
Evaluation Budget(US $): 9,000
Source of Funding: Global Environmental Facility
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 14,600
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Email Nationality
Vesa Rutanen Ms.
GEF Evaluation: Yes
GEF Project Title:
Evaluation Type:
Focal Area: Biodiversity
Project Type: EA
GEF Phase: GEF-1
GEF Project ID:
PIMS Number: 3880
Key Stakeholders: Srebrenica municipality stakeholders - education sector
Countries: BOSNIA AND HERCEGOVINA
Comments:

Final evaluation

Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1 As mentioned before, the project has clearly had a significant impact in increasing the general awareness on and acceptance of biomass energy as a serious and cost-effective alternative to the use of fossil fuels in heating of schools and other public buildings. Several innovative approaches and good practices have also been tested in the schools to start the education of children on energy and environmental issues already at the lowest grades, Based on the discussions and observations during the evaluation mission, however, they may have remained as a ?one shot activity? implemented once, but forgotten after that. During the evaluation mission it was not possible to meet any of the teachers that were trained on delivering the classes on energy and environment so as to clarify to what extent the earlier initiatives may have been followed up and/or are still used in their current work. The impression from the discussions with the school directors was, however, that if not formally integrated into the school curricula (based on the request of Ministry of Education), the earlier awareness raising activities may not anymore be replicated for new classes and/or the materials prepared used. As such, some further follow up during the remaining project implementation could be organized both at the level of the Ministry of Education and Culture and at the schools with the teachers trained on how to make the effort more sustainable.
2 As a part of the effort to strengthen the monitoring functions, it was tentatively agreed during the evaluation mission that the project seeks to attach still during the remaining project implementation a heat meter into each installed biomass boiler supported with project funds as well as to agree with the school management on recording the meter readings together with the fuel consumption data at agreed regular intervals and reporting them to UNDP. Furthermore, a strategy and implementation arrangements for measuring and reporting the achieved thermal comfort inside the school buildings during the current heating season should be agreed upon by relying on relatively cheap measurement and data recording instruments. Although the project will formally end in a couple of months? time, the monitoring can be continued as a part of the planned follow-up activities. Correspondingly, the current cost-benefit and GHG reduction analysis can be updated based on the actually monitored data and performance of the pilot projects rather than relying on the initial theoretical design values.
3 The original project design included no legal and regulatory component and no such activities were introduced into the project during its implementation either (apart from translating and facilitating the adoption of 5 EN standards for solid biomass fuel specification and classes). Starting with awareness raising activities is appropriate, but future interventions should gradually start to address also the identified legal and regulatory barriers, One of those barriers is within the current Public Procurement Law of the Republic of Srpska, for which the discussions on the required amendments to better support new contacting modalities and to leverage financing for investments, which the municipalities may not afford to make at once by themselves, could be initiated.
4 Another thing is that the information and conclusions of the project have not really found yet their way to the key policy and strategy documents of the different Government entities such as the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining. The possibilities for further co-operation with the mentioned entities should be explored as a part of the possible follow-up activities of the project. The elements of this eventual follow-up support could include required background studies and updated resource assessments, drafting of action plans (or relevant parts of them), design of possible financial and/or fiscal incentives, standards and regulations for quality control of both the hardware and the design works as well as of the different types of biomass fuels sold at the market etc. Furthermore, for the design of fuel-switching projects, some further training and capacity building may be required for optimizing the design and costs and the desired thermal comfort by an integrated demand side energy efficiency and supply side RE approach. All this subject to an updated situation analysis and needs assessments, however. These are also areas, where opportunities for co-operation with the National Biomass Association may be explored further so as strengthen its existence and eventually broaden its membership base.
5 Despite the initial project idea of relying on wood chips as the primary type of wood fuel to be used for heating of municipal buildings, the production of them has not really taken off yet in a larger scale. In the interviews with different stakeholders, to great extent this was considered to be because of different organizational and institutional barriers, but there are also issues with suitable machinery, available financing options to purchase such machinery by small companies etc., all of which are aspects that eventually could be supported within planned follow-up activities.
6 UNDP BiH in general appears to be in an excellent position to continue the effort of promoting the EE and RE agenda in the country with both political entities by maximizing the synergies with its other ongoing projects. The new Green Economic Development (GED) project, in particular, can be mentioned with partnerships already created with the FBiH Environmental Protection Fund and the RS Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund for exploring the potential for new financing mechanism. The mutual benefits of co-operation with bilateral donors were already demonstrated during the project implementation and this is worth following up. The planned UNDP follow up project on ?Biomass Energy for Employment and Energy Security? would provide an excellent platform to continue to push the bioenergy agenda in particular.
1. Recommendation: As mentioned before, the project has clearly had a significant impact in increasing the general awareness on and acceptance of biomass energy as a serious and cost-effective alternative to the use of fossil fuels in heating of schools and other public buildings. Several innovative approaches and good practices have also been tested in the schools to start the education of children on energy and environmental issues already at the lowest grades, Based on the discussions and observations during the evaluation mission, however, they may have remained as a ?one shot activity? implemented once, but forgotten after that. During the evaluation mission it was not possible to meet any of the teachers that were trained on delivering the classes on energy and environment so as to clarify to what extent the earlier initiatives may have been followed up and/or are still used in their current work. The impression from the discussions with the school directors was, however, that if not formally integrated into the school curricula (based on the request of Ministry of Education), the earlier awareness raising activities may not anymore be replicated for new classes and/or the materials prepared used. As such, some further follow up during the remaining project implementation could be organized both at the level of the Ministry of Education and Culture and at the schools with the teachers trained on how to make the effort more sustainable.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/22]

Concerning the fact that the project is planning follow-up activities, beyond the GEF project activities, there are potentials to extend the awareness raising activities and ensure their sustainability through additional partnership agreement with the Ministry of Education and culture of RS where replication factors for the awareness activities would be ensured for every new school year. With reference to the fact that awareness raising materials are also stored at each school?s library for public use, there is a possibility to link the Biomass association experts, which would present the contents of the materials to school students and staff each year and also extend the awareness results through the marketing activities of the Green Economic Development project.

Key Actions:

2. Recommendation: As a part of the effort to strengthen the monitoring functions, it was tentatively agreed during the evaluation mission that the project seeks to attach still during the remaining project implementation a heat meter into each installed biomass boiler supported with project funds as well as to agree with the school management on recording the meter readings together with the fuel consumption data at agreed regular intervals and reporting them to UNDP. Furthermore, a strategy and implementation arrangements for measuring and reporting the achieved thermal comfort inside the school buildings during the current heating season should be agreed upon by relying on relatively cheap measurement and data recording instruments. Although the project will formally end in a couple of months? time, the monitoring can be continued as a part of the planned follow-up activities. Correspondingly, the current cost-benefit and GHG reduction analysis can be updated based on the actually monitored data and performance of the pilot projects rather than relying on the initial theoretical design values.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/22]

As mentioned within the report and agreed during the final evaluation the monitoring of the performance of the installed biomass boilers is planned to be continued also after the project in the frame of the UNDP Green Economic Development (GED) project and the Energy Management and Information System (EMIS) introduced as a part of that not only to serve the immediate purpose of evaluating the project impact, but to serve the future awareness raising and capacity building efforts based on verified and credible monitoring data on the performance of real functioning biomass energy projects. The schools have not been integrated into the EMIS system previously, due to the fact that the Memorandum of Understanding with the entity of Republic of Srpska for the mentioned activities has not been signed before the time of the final evaluation. However, the formal administrative procedure is now in place for the data entry and an overall performance monitoring (relying on the actual monitoring data for energy consumption, energy and water costs, CO2 emission, energy savings, costs savings and CO2 emission reduction, as well as other specific indicators). The training of the end users for data collection and entry shall also be conducted. The sustainability will be ensured through the energy consumption monitoring system on entity level through responsible Ministries, linked to the Environmental Fund as the umbrella monitoring institution.

Key Actions:

3. Recommendation: The original project design included no legal and regulatory component and no such activities were introduced into the project during its implementation either (apart from translating and facilitating the adoption of 5 EN standards for solid biomass fuel specification and classes). Starting with awareness raising activities is appropriate, but future interventions should gradually start to address also the identified legal and regulatory barriers, One of those barriers is within the current Public Procurement Law of the Republic of Srpska, for which the discussions on the required amendments to better support new contacting modalities and to leverage financing for investments, which the municipalities may not afford to make at once by themselves, could be initiated.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/22]

In order to achieve sustainable system of biomass use and exploitation, it has already been realized that it is necessary to define an adequate policy and legal framework which leads to that goal. The planed follow up activities in the following period include efforts related to the framework of policy development for sustainable biomass utilization in BiH including the following segments: identification of policy gaps within the energy and forestry sectors, development of recommendations for effective policies and legislation framework, drafting of best practices and recommendations that will facilitate increased use of wood biomass and identification and addressing of the existing legal and regulatory barriers to leveraging increasing private sector financing to biomass energy and energy efficiency investments, e.g, by multi-year fuel supply and/or energy service contracting type of arrangements.

Key Actions:

4. Recommendation: Another thing is that the information and conclusions of the project have not really found yet their way to the key policy and strategy documents of the different Government entities such as the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Mining. The possibilities for further co-operation with the mentioned entities should be explored as a part of the possible follow-up activities of the project. The elements of this eventual follow-up support could include required background studies and updated resource assessments, drafting of action plans (or relevant parts of them), design of possible financial and/or fiscal incentives, standards and regulations for quality control of both the hardware and the design works as well as of the different types of biomass fuels sold at the market etc. Furthermore, for the design of fuel-switching projects, some further training and capacity building may be required for optimizing the design and costs and the desired thermal comfort by an integrated demand side energy efficiency and supply side RE approach. All this subject to an updated situation analysis and needs assessments, however. These are also areas, where opportunities for co-operation with the National Biomass Association may be explored further so as strengthen its existence and eventually broaden its membership base.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/22]

The Climate change Adaptation and Low Emission Development Strategy for BiH is currently the only official document which is adressing the subject matter in BiH. There are no action plans in development. Additionally, the UNDP Energy and Environment sector is, through its other projects, developing financial mechanisms with both entities' Funds for environmental protection using lessons learned from the Biomass project; all with an aim of perfecting the methodology for selection of the fuel switch projects to adress (Methodology on evaluation and selection of fuel switch and energy efficiency projects for loan and/or performance based financing). In that sense it is believed that this issue has been adressed and integrated to the extent possible at this point in time, due to current development of legislative documents e.g. EE/RE financing market maturity stage. Nevertheless, the follow-up activities of the project as well as other projects within UNDP E&E sector are closely following these aspects and using opportunities to stregthen and mainstream the efforts where possible.

Key Actions:

5. Recommendation: Despite the initial project idea of relying on wood chips as the primary type of wood fuel to be used for heating of municipal buildings, the production of them has not really taken off yet in a larger scale. In the interviews with different stakeholders, to great extent this was considered to be because of different organizational and institutional barriers, but there are also issues with suitable machinery, available financing options to purchase such machinery by small companies etc., all of which are aspects that eventually could be supported within planned follow-up activities.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/22]

The use of wood chips as a wood fuel source has been a matter of discussion of many project stakeholders throughout project implementation and project activities. The enabling environment for production and use of wood chips has been developing more slowly in comparison to pellet and briquette use. As indicated, this is due to different institutional and organizational barriers. The project follow up activities will partly try to go into more detailed aspects of these issues through addressing the policy framework component and private sector value chain activities.

Key Actions:

6. Recommendation: UNDP BiH in general appears to be in an excellent position to continue the effort of promoting the EE and RE agenda in the country with both political entities by maximizing the synergies with its other ongoing projects. The new Green Economic Development (GED) project, in particular, can be mentioned with partnerships already created with the FBiH Environmental Protection Fund and the RS Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund for exploring the potential for new financing mechanism. The mutual benefits of co-operation with bilateral donors were already demonstrated during the project implementation and this is worth following up. The planned UNDP follow up project on ?Biomass Energy for Employment and Energy Security? would provide an excellent platform to continue to push the bioenergy agenda in particular.
Management Response: [Added: 2014/12/22]

Recommendation is in line with the current activities. The bioenergy agenda will be continuously addressed through the follow-up project and other projects within the UNDP Energy and Environment Sector, including continuance of cooperation with bilateral donors and partners.

Key Actions:

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