On 12 November 2021, the European Union and Telavi municipality officially opened the first energy efficient kindergarten in Kakheti, which has been renovated and thermo-rehabilitated with the EU’s support. With the help of biomass energy technology, the kindergarten is fully heated in winter, while also saving 60% of costs.
The official opening took take place in the framework of the EU’s ongoing information campaign on energy efficiency “Doing More with Less” and the visit of the EU Ambassador to Kakheti.
“Energy efficiency is a key priority for the European Union in Georgia. For this kindergarten we employ innovative technologies, using waste from vineyards, which is a cheap and good source of heating. Through this method we can create a better and healthier environment for children, while using less energy and less financial resources. The EU remains committed to supporting legislative reform in energy efficiency and developing innovative solutions like the one used here in Ikalto”, stated Ambassador Hartzell at the opening ceremony.
“Within the framework of the Covenant of Mayors program, the complete modernization of the kindergarten in Ikalto village by using energy-efficient technologies is a significant achievement for our municipality. The ongoing rehabilitation works in Telavi kindergarten #1 are also noteworthy, as the same agricultural waste will be used for heating of the kindergarten. I am grateful to the EU Delegation to Georgia and all partners for the effective implementation of this important project,” said Telavi Mayor Shota Nareklishvili.
Until two years ago, Ikalto Kindergarten in Telavi Municipality used to have wood heating that could heat up only 40% of their building in winter. The situation changed after the building alongside other facilities was rehabilitated through the EU-funded project “Biomass Energy and Energy Efficient Technologies as Sustainable Energy Solutions for Covenant of Mayors Signatories”, implemented by Energy Efficiency Center Georgia in partnership with Telavi Municipality.
“This project, which we implemented with the financial support of the European Union, highlights the mission that municipalities can accomplish to contribute to the fulfilment of the country’s undertaken international climate commitments, and demonstrates the potential of energy efficiency and local biomass in enhancing the country’s energy independence”, stated Giorgi Abulashvili, Director of the Energy Efficiency Center – Georgia.
With the support of the European Union, Ikalto Kindergarten is now fully heated using renewable energy produced from vineyard pruning residues, abundantly available in Kakheti. The use of biomass for heating reduces greenhouse gas emission and cuts costs. The rehabilitation works also included thermal insulation of the building, instalment of solar water-heating system, a grid-connected solar micro power plant, energy efficient windows and replacement of existing lighting with LED lights. Overall, energy costs will decrease by 60%. The EU also gave the municipality two tractors and special equipment for collecting and processing vineyard pruning residues to be used for biomass-operated heaters, thus helping to create a renewable energy supply chain.
The official opening ceremony in Ikalto was attended by the kindergarten administration, project implementing partners, representatives of Telavi Municipality and Governor’s office.