Oil-rich Kazakhstan is constant its relentless push to develop renewable vitality sources. The nation is the ninth largest on the planet, with a inhabitants of solely 18 million. The main financial system in Central Asia, it generates some 60% of the area’s GDP, primarily by its oil and fuel business, writes Colin Stevens.
The Central Asian state has already trebled oil manufacturing within the final decade or so however, whereas huge mineral and hydrocarbon sources have been driving its financial system, it has now launched into a large-scale transition to inexperienced vitality.
The nation has been in search of funding to develop wind, photo voltaic and hydroelectric tasks to cut back an influence deficit in elements of the nation.
An necessary contribution lately got here from the European Financial institution for Reconstruction and Improvement (EBRD). On October 26 the financial institution and its companions stated they have been supporting the development of a 100 MW wind farm close to the city of Zhanatas within the south of Kazakhstan in an effort to advertise the nation’s additional transition from coal-fired energy vegetation to renewable-energy energy era.
The Zhanatas wind farm is a particular challenge firm run and owned by China Energy Worldwide Holding in partnership with Visor Investments Cooperatief. Collectively, they are going to assemble and function the challenge and additionally construct an 8.6km 110kV single-circuit line connecting the power to the nationwide grid.
The plant, it’s hoped, will assist cut back annual CO2 emissions by roughly 262,000 tonnes.
The emergence of Kazakhstan as a global eco-warrior and regional pioneer of inexperienced vitality was firmly established three years in the past after the nation was chosen to host the worldwide Expo 2017 on ‘Future Vitality.’
The EBRD announcement final month additional underlined Kazakhstan’s huge and uncovered steppe potential for producing wind energy, significantly in southern areas of the nation that rely largely on electrical energy imported from close by Uzbekistan.
Commenting on this, Brussels-based vitality skilled Paul Harding stated: “There may be monumental potential for renewable vitality in Kazakhstan, significantly from wind and small hydropower vegetation. Kazakhstan has the potential to generate 10 instances as a lot energy because it presently wants from wind vitality alone though, presently, renewable vitality accounts for lower than one % of all energy installations.”
The EBRD’s financing of as much as $24.8 million is the most recent transaction underneath the Financial institution’s “Kazakhstan Renewables Framework II.”
Harding says the brand new wind energy plant, which is a part of EBRD funding of over €8.63 billion in a complete of 273 tasks in Kazakhstan, will contribute to assembly Kazakhstan’s goal of changing into a regional chief within the growth of renewable vitality. It can, he says, “considerably cut back” nationwide emissions. The challenge can be in step with the EBRD’s Inexperienced Economic system Transition strategy.
One other Kazak goal, with a watch on the long run, is to advertise and enhance consciousness of employment alternatives within the renewable vitality sector amongst younger ladies and men by creating gender-sensitive coaching and employment programmes.
Kazakstan additionally plans to develop a nuclear gas cycle primarily based on the world’s second-largest uranium reserves. Regardless of such strikes, renewable vitality tasks are nonetheless comparatively uncommon in Kazakhstan, which sits on 3 % of the world’s recoverable oil reserves.
The nation has been social gathering to the UN Framework Conference on Local weather Change because the mid Nineteen Nineties and it ratified the 2009 Kyoto Protocol. In that yr, it launched state assist for renewable vitality era, together with necessary buy of electrical energy by energy operators. It then launched a voluntary Inexperienced Bridge Partnership Programme.
This seeks to advertise collaborative cross-border partnership with each private and non-private sectors. Extra lately, in 2013, Kazakstan enshrined in legislation what are referred to as “feed-in-tariffs” for renewables to encourage funding. It has additionally launched new guidelines on the therapy of waste and water.
Moreover, the “Nationwide Idea for Transition to a Inexperienced Economic system as much as 2050” units extraordinarily formidable targets for renewable vitality’s share of electrical energy era: rising from the comparatively tiny contribution now to 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050. At current, coal nonetheless accounts for 80% of the nation’s electrical energy era so, clearly, there’s nonetheless a bit method to go.
A spokesman for the United Nations Improvement Programme (UNDP) stated: “Kazakhstan has monumental renewable vitality potential, significantly from wind and small hydropower vegetation. The nation has the potential to generate 10 instances as a lot energy because it presently wants from wind vitality alone. However renewable vitality accounts for a small share of all energy installations.
“Of this, 95% comes from small hydropower tasks. The primary limitations to funding in renewable vitality are comparatively excessive financing prices.”
Nonetheless, authorities initiatives are actually driving down the working prices for renewable schemes. Such measures embody necessary and beneficial entry to the grid, pleasant planning and taxation regimes.
Such ambition has left the door now extensive open for additional personal funding.
So, clearly, Kazakhstan is flying the flag, not only for the area however the remainder of the world, in forging an environmental-friendly future.