Ulaanbaatar’s heating sector is struggling to meet accelerating demand growth. Over the past two decades, population growth in Mongolia’s capital city has increased exponentially, mainly due to rapid rural-to-urban migration, and it is expected to reach 1.9 million by 2035. With urbanization and economic growth, new buildings are being built at a rapid pace, requiring connections to the district heating (DH) network. Over the next decade, it is projected that urban heating demand will grow by an average annual rate of 5–6 percent.
At the same time, the DH network—once Ulaanbaatar’s principal heat supply—is deteriorating. Based on the current heating infrastructure, the DH sector will not be able to keep pace with urbanization and economic growth. Failure to provide reliable heating service and pipeline repair could lead to a much larger share of underserved and unserved urban populations.