Regional: Floating Solar Energy Development

Sovereign Project | 52079-001

Central and West Asian countries are heavily reliant on either fossil fuels, hydropower, or imported fuels and power, which make them carbon-intensive, energy-insecure, and vulnerable to climate and external supply shocks. The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) aims to pilot test and build expertise on the emerging floating solar photovoltaic (FPV)_technology to diversify the energy mix, increase energy security, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions._ Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and the Kyrgyz Republic represent these critical vulnerabilities of Central and West Asian countries and are the targeted beneficiaries._

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Vogel, Johannes E.
    Central and West Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
  • Sector
    • Energy
Project Name Floating Solar Energy Development
Project Number 52079-001
Country / Economy Regional
Kyrgyz Republic
Project Status Active
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 9564-REG: Floating Solar Energy Development
Clean Energy Fund under the Clean Energy Financing Partnership Facility US$ 3.00 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Energy / Renewable energy generation - solar

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements

Central and West Asian countries are heavily reliant on either fossil fuels, hydropower, or imported fuels and power, which make them carbon-intensive, energy-insecure, and vulnerable to climate and external supply shocks. The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) aims to pilot test and build expertise on the emerging floating solar photovoltaic (FPV)_technology to diversify the energy mix, increase energy security, and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions._ Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and the Kyrgyz Republic represent these critical vulnerabilities of Central and West Asian countries and are the targeted beneficiaries._

The TA is aligned with the Energy Policy 2009; the energy sector group work plan, 2018-2019; and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Strategy 2030 and Work Plan, 2016-2020._The TA outcome will contribute to the Asian Development Bank (ADB) target of providing at least $6 billion in climate financing annually from 2020. The countries requested the TA and agreed with the scope during reconnaissance missions in November 2017 and January 2018._All member countries concurred with the TA concept at the CAREC Energy Sector Coordinating Committee (ESCC) meeting in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan in March 2018. The TA is not included in ADB''s country operations business plans and regional cooperation operations business plan._The concept clearance was obtained on 6 June 2018.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

Power supply in Afghanistan is 80% imported, while 85% of power in Azerbaijan is supplied from fossil fuel-based plants. In the Kyrgyz Republic, 90% of power is from hydropower plants._All countries have little or no installed solar capacity despite rapid cost reductions in the last 5 years and supporting policies. This is due to lack of awareness, and insufficient technical skills and knowledge on the costs, benefits, and financing options.

The availability, suitability, and cost of land for solar energy are additional constraints to its development. Land with competing uses, such as agriculture and housing, is expensive, and hilly terrains are costly to develop and prepare for land-based solar projects. However, the countries have large lakes and reservoirs with perennially sunlit surfaces. The installation of FPV on these water bodies optimizes the use of water and solar resources, diversifies the energy mix, enhances energy security, and avoids emissions. The total installed generation capacity of the region is only a fraction of the potential FPV capacity on the region''s hydropower reservoirs alone. With the existing grid infrastructure for hydropower, the cost of installing FPV is reduced while the power density in megawatts (MW) per flooded area is significantly increased._The FPV output also allows time-shifting of hydropower output, creating a virtual pumped storage capability._Moreover, FPV installed in reservoirs used for drinking water, fishing, irrigation, and hydropower has added environmental benefits. It reduces evaporative losses (water conservation) and algal growth, increasing water clarity and resulting in plant growth, increased oxygen, and fish growth.

Solar energy is inexhaustible and available year-round, and photovoltaic cost-effectiveness is proven globally. Land-based and floating photovoltaic are sustainable options, given that (i) the countries have adequate solar resources, (ii) photovoltaic is becoming even more cost-effective, (iii) photovoltaic is quick to install, and (iv) photovoltaic mitigates climate change while enhancing energy security. Photovoltaic development also supports the countries' nationally determined contributions targets to reduce GHG emissions by 2030.

The TA will pilot test high technology, enabling the countries to leapfrog in knowledge and capacity and increase readiness for private sector participation in large-scale, land-based, and floating solar development. The TA will also address critical challenges and vulnerabilities such as (i) insufficient technical and institutional capacity, (ii) limited financial resources, (iii) tariffs below cost recovery, and (iv) energy insecurity due to reliance on a single type of energy source.

Afghanistan remains in the lowest 5% of electricity use globally, with only 30% of the population connected to the grid. Domestic capacity is only 520 megawatts (MW); and imports from Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan account for 80% of the power supply._Unreliable supply and lack of grid connection have caused reliance on expensive (about $0.50 per kilowatt-hour) and carbon-intensive diesel generation. The country aims to diversify into renewable energy and encourage private sector participation, but its inaccessible and insecure land, and limited baseload generation and grid capacity, have hindered solar development.

In Azerbaijan, oil and gas supply over 90% of power while hydro accounts for 7%. The government aims to diversify its energy mix and improve sector efficiency, but the low user tariffs hinder investments in renewable energy. A 2016 Presidential decree mandated reforms to develop non-oil sectors, increase the use of domestic resources to free up oil and gas for additional export revenues, and incentivize private sector entry into renewable energy._The high-cost, limited availability, and competing uses of land have stalled photovoltaic development.

The Kyrgyz Republic relies heavily on hydropower, which represents 80% of capacity and 90% of supply. It is a net electricity exporter, but a net importer of fossil fuels to feed cogeneration plants in winter when reservoir water is low. Excess water is spilled without generating electricity in the summer, while coal-based plants supply the winter electricity shortage. The country needs to diversify to clean year-round power generation sources as the seasonality of hydropower threatens its energy security and increases emissions. The country''s rugged terrain and low user tariffs have contributed to the lack of investments in solar and other clean technologies.

While FPV requires stricter standards, given the exposure to water, it has advantages over land-based photovoltaic, as it (i) frees up land for other uses and saves on land acquisition and preparation costs, (ii) allows higher yields because of the cooling effect of water, (iii) conserves water through reduced evaporation, (iv) has readily available water for module cleaning, and (v) is quick to install. FPV systems have been largely installed on lakes, irrigation ponds, and reservoirs. Some plants have been built and tested in marine environments, and pile- or stilt-mounted plants have been installed over aquaculture farms, canals, and wetlands.


Selected countries' energy security enhanced (CAREC Energy Strategy and Work Plan, 20162020)

Greenhouse gas emissions reduced (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

Utility-scale floating solar projects in selected countries initiated

Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Pilot-scale floating solar plants installed and scaled up plants assessed in selected countries

Business models with private sector participation developed

Institutional capacity in designing, constructing, and operating FSP systems enhanced

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues) Consulting firm mobilized on 18 September 2018. Inception mission to Afghanistan was fielded from 10-13 March 2019.
Geographical Location Afghanistan - Nation-wide, Qarghah; Azerbaijan - Nation-wide, Lake Boyukshor; Kyrgyz Republic - Nation-wide, Toktogul
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation An Inception Mission visited Afghanistan from 10 to 13 March 2019 held a kick-off meeting on the TA and conducted a capacity-building workshop on Floating Solar Energy Development. The mission conducted interviews with stakeholders and workshop participants to capture the level of engagement, expectation, ownership and acceptance of the TA and of floating solar technology in general. A multimedia expert_and who joined the mission conducted interviews, captured audio-visual materials and trained the local TA consultants to provide visual material from the sites under consideration for the pilot FPV project.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services An international consulting firm is selected through the quality- and cost-based selection (QCBS) method using full technical proposal. The ratio of quality against cost will be 90:10 given the relatively new technology. Individual consultants recruited as resource persons or presenters/trainers will be recruited as needed to which lump sum and/or output based contracts will be considered.
Procurement Three (3) Design-Build-Operate (DBO) contracts for the pilot projects are to be procured by the TA Consultant on behalf of ADB using shopping method. Each of the contract is estimated at $300,000 on which procurement will commence in Q4 2019, with contract award expected by Q1 2020.
Responsible ADB Officer Vogel, Johannes E.
Responsible ADB Department Central and West Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Energy Division, CWRD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat
OJSC Electric Power Plants
The Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Concept Clearance 06 Jun 2018
Fact Finding -
Approval 17 Aug 2018
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 01 Oct 2020

TA 9564-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
17 Aug 2018 - 17 Aug 2018 31 Mar 2021 31 Mar 2023 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
0.00 3,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 3,000,000.00 09 Dec 2022 781,207.24

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