ÖkoFlussPlan: Start of Construction Works for “Real Lab” in Kyrgyzstan

Construction has been begun of “Real Lab” – a community house, to demonstrate the use of sustainable energy solutions in high-altitude and cold climatic region of rural Kyrgyzstan.

Figure 1 Initialising the construction work of "Real Lab" by InES members Mr. Kedar Mehta and Mr. Jakob Beringer in September 2021 in Ak-Tal, Naryn region, Kyrgyzstan.

Institute of new Energy Systems (InES) of Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt (THI) is responsible for work package 5 (renewable energies) in the project ÖkoFlussPlan. The main aim of this work package is to provide feasible solutions to integrate renewable energies in rural Kyrgyzstan. In addition to the main scope of the “ÖkoFlussPlan” project, THI planned to construct “Real Lab” – a community house, to demonstrate the use of sustainable energy solutions.

The “Real Lab” has multidimensional approaches to disseminate knowledge and awareness about renewable energy in rural Kyrgyzstan. The “Real Lab” is a 100 m² sized building which will be constructed in Ak-Tal, a village in the Naryn region, Kyrgyzstan. On 30.09.2021, the kick-off meeting was held at the local-self governance house to start official construction works for “Real Lab” in Ak-Tal. All involved partners and local residents came together to initiate the construction on-site. Typically for construction start, a capsule with good wishes for all involved parties was embedded in the first piece of the foundation. The ceremony was attended by the deputy district director Akim Abdymalik Sulaimanov, the head of the local self-government of the village Ak-Tal Rakhat Aalybaev, Mr. Kedar Mehta and Mr. Jakob Beringer from THI, the construction company involved NAKStroi, the NGO CAMP Alatoo and local residents.

During the opening ceremony of the construction procedure, the head of local self-governance Rakhat Aalybaev mentioned that “the upcoming building and research related to how to reduce the solid fuel usage for house heating will be favourable for local Kyrgyz people. Further to this, he thanked team THI as well as the funding agency (The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) for the execution of the “Real Lab” in the Ak-Tal region.  

As a next step, THI will install renewable energy technologies at “Real Lab” that ensure the supply of the building with space heating, hot water, and electricity. Further to this, the non-profit organization CAMP Alatoo will insulate the “Real Lab” with locally available sustainable insulation material. This is how “Real Lab” will act as a model house in the region. 

Being an academic partner in the project consortium, Naryn State University (NSU) shall have a key role in engaging with and taking responsibility for the technical components of the “Real Lab” facility. To maximize the benefits, the undergraduate students from NSU shall be involved in regular research training at the “Real Lab”, which will allow them to explore their knowledge in the field of renewable energy. However, the scope of scientific activities is not limited to the on-site training, but also includes R&D activities, maintenance, and repair of the installed technologies, the writing of theses to assess the performance of the installed system as well as the generation of technical reports, providing insights into the efficiency of the installed energy systems in the Kyrgyz climate.   

As a partner in the project ÖkoFlussPlan, the self-governance authority of Ak-Tal will support the planned “Real Lab” through various measures. In order to raise awareness for the benefits of renewable energies and building insulation in the Ak-Tal community and neighboring regions, visiting the “Real Lab” will be free of charge for all interested parties. Moreover, the premises shall be used in various ways to benefit the community of Ak-Tal, for instance through enabling community meetings or accommodating the local kindergarten. The local self-governance of Ak-Tal will operate and maintain the “Real Lab” building within and beyond the project duration and is willing to take over ownership after the closure of the project.
The project ÖkoFlussPlan is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and part of the CLIENT II initiative.