ReEnergy Kazakhstan: sources
Renewable Energy Sources in Kazakhstan:
One of the priority areas in developing electric power industry and meeting environmental challenges in Kazakhstan today is the use of renewable energy resources and implementation of energy and resource saving programmes.
The potential of renewable energy resources (hydropower, wind and solar energy) in Kazakhstan is very significant. However, the percentage of alternative energy generation in Kazakhstan is only 0.4% of the total amount.
According to experts, Kazakhstan is one of the countries boasting the most suitable conditions for wind power industry development. A wind atlas of Kazakhstan has been developed and ten sites for wind farm construction have been studied to date, which can be used to install large wind farms with a total capacity of up to 1,000 MW for commercial electricity generation in the amount of 2-3 billion kWh of electric power.
Despite the northern latitude of Kazakhstan’s geographical location, solar energy resources in the country are stable due to favourable climatic conditions. Recent surveys show that the solar energy potential in the southern regions of the country amounts to 2,500-3,000 hours of sunshine a year.
At present, the theoretical potential of hydropower resources in Kazakhstan is 170x109 kWh/year and that potentially available for use is 62x109 kWh/year, whereas the economic potential is about 27-30x109 kWh/year.
The Government has been taking comprehensive measures to increase the share of power generated by renewable energy sources, to which end the Law On Supporting the Use of Renewable Energy Sources was passed in 2009.
The incentive for using renewable energy sources is the fact that Kazakhstan committed itself to reducing its emissions by 15% against the 1992 level. This goal will be difficult to achieve just by reducing the energy intensity of the economy. Thus, the role of renewable energy sources in reducing greenhouse gas emissions would be significant for Kazakhstan.
An important step in developing renewable energy sources in Kazakhstan was the National Programme for Forced Industrial and Innovative Development of Kazakhstan for 2010-2014, which was approved in March this year. The objectives of the National Programme are to achieve a volume of electricity generated by renewable energy sources equal to 1 billion kWh per year by 2014, and to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the total scope of electricity consumption to more than 1% by 2015.
As part of the National Programme, projects to construct the first wind power plants are planned to be implemented. The suggested deployment areas include the city of Astana, Akmola Oblast, Dzungarian Gates, and Shelek Corridor. The estimated capacity of electric power to be generated at the first stage may amount to 50-100 MW.
This year, work to develop and implement small hydropower plant construction projects in the Almaty and South Kazakhstan Oblasts with a total capacity of 8.4 MW is expected to continue.
By 2015, wind power units with an installed capacity of 125 MW generating 400 million kWh of electric power are expected to be constructed. Also, new small hydropower plants with a total installed capacity of over 100 MW and intended power generation of 300 million kWh are planned to be commissioned in Kazakhstan before 2015.
A plan for deployment of renewable energy facilities is envisaged to be developed and the work to improve and expand the first wind atlas of Kazakhstan will be continued.
The near-future plans of the Government of Kazakhstan feature a detailed study of issues relating to support of renewable energy sources, such as reservation and priority in allocation of land plots to install renewable energy facilities; obligations of power transmission companies to purchase renewable energy sources-generated electricity; exemption of renewable energy sources from payment for electricity transportation via power grids; and support in connecting renewable energy facilities to power transmission operator’s grids.
Energy Efficiency, Energy and Resource Saving:
Kazakhstan possesses a significant potential in the sphere of energy saving – according to experts, it makes up 30% of the total energy consumption. In November 2011, the Government of Kazakhstan approved a comprehensive energy saving plan providing for saving up to KZT 200 billion per year. This comprehensive plan consists of 47 measures, including 25 inter-sectoral measures, 5 pilot projects, and 24 measures in the spheres of industry, electricity and heat generation, and housing and utility services. The comprehensive plan will cover all national companies, government agencies, administrations of oblasts and of the cities of Almaty and Astana, and housing and utility service entities. Once implemented, the comprehensive plan will provide for GDP energy intensity reduction by 10%, with the annual savings amounting to 16 billion kWh of electricity, 11 kilocalories of heat power, 7 million tons of coal, and about KZT 200 billion in money terms. The materialisation of the comprehensive plan will allow for establishing a new system that will develop a modernised industry featuring high performance, design and introduce new technologies to improve energy efficiency, train new personnel and provide for interaction between the science and the real economy, and shape a different attitude and new thinking in the general public with regard to rational use and intelligent consumption of energy resources.
The priority task today is to enact the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan On Energy Saving and a number of regulatory legal acts in the implementation of the Law, develop the State Energy Saving Register and organise monitoring of large consumers of fuel and energy resources in terms of energy saving, which will make it possible to establish a coherent system of legal, administrative, and economic measures to encourage efficient energy use and create additional incentives for energy saving.