Energy crisis in Europe: Western sanctions have the opposite effect
It was a year of historic change in Kazakhstan with President Kassym Jomart-Tokayev launching a wave of democratic reforms in the country to create a freer and fairer society. Among these changes are fundamental reforms to the system of government, creating more transparency and accountability, electoral reforms, as well as reforms in almost every other area of life – including the environment and renewable energy sources. (SER).
Tokayev’s green economy plan
Kazakhstan presented its ambitious “2050 Green Economy Plan” along with the 2060 Carbon Neutral Declaration, a commitment to the 2030 Global Climate Agenda. In 2013, Kazakhstan adopted a plan to transition to a green economy and 2016, Kazakhstan signed the Paris Agreement committing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Indeed, despite its resource-rich terrain and access to fossil fuels, Kazakhstan has a long history of developing RES to help alleviate the energy challenges of our time, enshrined in Kazakhstan’s legislation since 2009. As Kazakhstan prepares to future considerable increase in the use of energy, the government has already launched projects to put in place more sustainable and environmentally friendly solutions. In October 2022, President Tokayev underline the importance of increasing RES, noting that several projects are under development in the Almaty region, including a wind farm in the Shelek corridor, a hydroelectric power station in the Raiymbek district and the Bartogai hydroelectric power station in Yenbekshikazakh district.
In the aftermath of Kazakhstan’s compelling steps towards decarbonization, the world Bank also showed its support: “We are ready to help the government to green the economy through technical advice and investments in all sectors”, declared Anna Bjerde, vice-president of the World Bank for the Europe and Central Asia. With the current global energy market instability, it has never been more important than now to innovate in the energy sector.
142 renewable energy installations
Already, there are 142 renewable energy installations in Kazakhstan, with an installed capacity of 2332 MW. There are also 48 new energy projects on the agenda for 2025, including 13 hydroelectric plants, 34 wind turbines and 12 solar stations. As a member of
implementation of these projects, 350 billion tenge will be invested in technology, an additional 2.5 billion kWh of green energy will be generated, and more than 2,000 temporary jobs and 400 permanent jobs will be created.
In addition, Kazakhstan will soon deploy 10 new renewable energy installations, with a total capacity of 290.6 MW. Estimates indicate that by 2025, the national share of renewable energy will be 6%, 15% in 2030 and up to 50% in 2050.
Evidence from recent years also indicates that these goals are by no means far off. At the end of 2021, the volume of electricity produced by renewable energy installations amounted to 3.69% of total electricity production, an increase of 30% compared to the same period in 2020. At the end in the first half of 2022, the volume of electricity generated by renewable energy facilities amounted to 4.24% of total electricity production, an increase of 17% compared to the same period in 2021 .
In addition, experts estimate that there is a potential of 920 billion kWh per year from wind energy, 62 billion kWh from hydroelectricity and a huge potential for solar energy in the southern regions of Kazakhstan that receive 2,500 to 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. In short, there is no limit to Kazakhstan’s potential for RES.
Attract investment in new technologies
Beyond the projects already ordered, Kazakhstan is making every effort to attract investment and new technologies. The Ministry of Energy has also announced plans to launch a new Renewable Energy Auction, to be held annually, and conduct special RES auctions for electricity storage.
The international auctions for 2018-2021 were conducted in electronic format for renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1,710 MW. 196 companies from 12 countries participated in the auction: Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Turkey, Germany, France, Bulgaria, Italy, United Arab Emirates, Netherlands, Malaysia and Spain. This year, the auction is expected to take place from November 3 to 29, with the total installed capacity auctioned being 690 MW.
These auctions have made possible transparency in the process of selecting projects and investors and, on the other hand, have enabled more efficient technologies and projects which have minimized the impact on tariffs for end consumers of the implementation service of renewable energy installations.
$613 million RES projects
Kazakhstan has managed to sign several critical agreements and memoranda with international financial institutions, amounting to approximately $613 million to move these RES projects forward. Investors from 10 countries around the world, as well as major financial companies
institutions such as the EBRDAfDB, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank,
and DBK, are currently working in Kazakhstan’s green energy sector. In addition, large companies such as Eni, TotalEren, ACWA Power, Masdar and Havel, which have already implemented projects in Kazakhstan in the past, intend to further develop
renewable energy projects and have invested in the sector.
While Kazakhstan’s RES efforts have already yielded positive results, the Ministry of Energy, together with interested parties, will continue to promote RES by developing technical requirements for RES projects using the storage system. of electricity, by improving the development mechanism of small-scale RES. , regulating the mechanism for concluding bilateral contracts between RES and consumers (including miners) and providing incentive mechanisms for large hydropower plants.
Together, these steps and new cutting-edge RES technologies can alleviate pressures on Kazakhstan’s existing electricity grid and help Kazakhstan achieve its green energy goals within the international community.