- WATCH: Kazakhstan’s Emerging Solar Industry is Helping its Transition to a Green Economy
- As Asia and the Pacific’s climate bank, ADB will continue to drive the case for clean energy in Central Asia.
- “Adherence to Paris Agreement is increasingly assuming center stage in our private sector infrastructure support in the region.”– Shan Chakraboty, ADB
Like many economies in Central Asia, Kazakhstan relies heavily on fossil fuel. It uses coal in about 70% of its electricity generation.
ADB partners with EBRD to support two major solar projects in Kazakhstan. These are milestone projects that will boost the country’s energy mix.
100 MW M-KAT power plant is one of the largest solar power projects in Central Asia.
50 MW Baikonyr solar project is ADB’s first long-term local currency financing in the region.
The emerging solar industry in Kazakhstan is a major step to decarbonize its economy and promote clean energy sources.
Central Asia is still heavily dependent on fossil fuel for energy.
In Kazakhstan, coal-fired plants account for about 70% of power generation.
But the land-locked country is transitioning to a green economic growth path by shifting to clean energy
“In 2009, legislation was passed to support renewable energy, which has helped to attract new investors. The aim is to increase the share of renewable energy to 6% by 2025, 15% by 2030, and by 2050 it should be 50% of the energy mix,” shares Daulet Zakaryanov, Department Head of Monitoring and Implementation, Renewable Energy Sources Facilities of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy.
“We plan to increase renewable energy capacity through 59 projects with total output of 1400 MW.”
ADB, together with EBRD, supports two major solar power projects to boost the share of renewables in the country’s energy mix.
Managed and operated by the private sector, these will improve the country’s energy security, particularly in power-deficient southern Kazakhstan.
M-KAT solar power project is a 100-MW power plant in southeastern Kazakhstan that covers about 300 hectares of land.
It is ADB’s largest solar power project in Central Asia and is expected to generate an average of 176 gigawatt hours of energy annually.
“The power plant was built to reduce energy deficiencies in the southern region, as well as increase clean energy production and help decarbonize the economy,” says Ilya Chernodarov, Director of Business Development in Central Asia, Total Eren Services Kazakhstan LLP, “One of the innovative features of the solar power plant is the use of single-axis tracker systems. This system tracks the movement of the sun and so increases electricity production by 25%.”
Dana Sarsenbayeva, Financial Director Total Eren Services, Kazakhstan LLP also shares her team’s experience working with ADB. “From the beginning ADB has demonstrated its commitment to a very high-quality of work. It was a good example for us and motivated us to put our processes at the same high level.”
“I am very pleased that ADB pays due attention to gender, improvement of socio-economic developments, and the development of entrepreneurship in communities around the project sites,” she continues.
50-MW Baikonyr solar power project, located in souther Kazakhsta, is ADB’s first long-term local currency financing in Central Asia.
Clean energy generated by this plant will reduce CO2 emissions by 40,000 tons annually.
“The power plant is located in Kyzylorda, which imports 55% of its energy supply from other regions,” discloses Yevgeniy Gladyev, Director General, Baikonyr Solar LLP, “So the project aims to provide clean energy to this electricity deficient area and decrease its dependence on energy from other regions. We have also provided more than 40 jobs to local residents in the project area.”
ADB, through its Private Sector Operations Department, provided both solar power companies with long-term financing.
Shantanu Chakraborty, Director for ADB’s Central and West Asia, South Asia Infrastructure Finance, explains that ADB’s private sector operations department is pushing the climate finance agenda in multiple ways in Central Asia.
“Adherene to Paris Agreement is increasingly assuming center stage in our private sector infrastructure support in the region. We do sincerely expect the topography of the energy sector to dramatically change in the next five to 10 years. Energy transition, in various forms and manners, has certainly picked up steam in the region,” continues Chakraborty.
Aside from producing clean energy, the solar projects are creating local job opportunities.
The success of these projects demonstrates the viability of solar projects in Kazakhstan.
It is expected to attract more investors in the country’s emerging solar industry and help Kazakhstan take a major step towards transition to green economic growth by 2050.