The World Bank has approved USD 32 million in additional financing for the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Energy Efficiency Project, according to a press release from the World Bank cited by the BiH media.
Energy efficiency investments under the project refer to retrofits of school and hospital buildings across BiH to secure cleaner and more efficient heating, improved thermal insulation, better lighting, and an overall improvement of conditions in the buildings, the World Bank said.
The additional financing follows the original, USD 32 million package the World Bank approved in March 2014. Under the original package, more than 60 school and hospital buildings have been retrofitted in BiH.
The investments helped improve working and other conditions in schools and hospitals, in what directly benefitted over 500,000 students and patients, according to the press release.
Electricity consumption in retrofitted public facilities decreased by up to 60%, creating energy savings of over 512,000 MWh.
This helped cut CO2 emissions by 189,000 metric tons, which is the equivalent of pollution from around 2,000 cars.
Bosnia and Herzegovina uses more energy than other European countries, with a half of the consumption attributable to buildings with deficiencies such as poor thermal insulation, outdated heating systems, and inadequate lighting, according to the press release.
Due to high costs, public facilities in BiH are inadequately heated in winter months, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina Emanuel Salinas was quoted as saying.
The investments will provide additional benefits, such as a significant decrease in electricity bills and reduced air pollution, he noted.
BiH has around 7,600 public buildings, including 2,908 in Republika Srpska and 4,419 in the Federation of BiH (FBiH), which are estimated to require energy efficiency investments of between EUR 350 million and EUR 510 million.
The World Bank’s project is aimed at improving conditions in certain schools and hospitals, as well as establishing a mechanism that can mobilize additional funding that would be used for retrofits of a larger number of facilities.