Kazakhstan renewables plan envisions 1,000 MW of small hydro

Kazakhstan government ministries are working with a United Nations agency to draft renewable energy legislation that envisions construction of 1,000 MW of small hydropower.

Kazakhstan officials meeting in May endorsed draft legislation proposed by the U.N. Development Program (UNDP) that is intended to create favorable circumstances to attract investment in the renewables sector.

Currently the ministries of Energy and Natural Resources and of Environmental Protection are meeting with UNDP officials to further develop the drafts for eventual presentation to the parliament.

Power sector modeling by UNDP found that 1,000 MW of small scale hydropower and 2,000 MW of wind power could be constructed by 2024 without significant effect on the consumer price for power.

�Nevertheless, the significance of this is immense in a country whose economy is so linked to the hydrocarbon markets,� the U.N.-backed Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership said in a June 11 statement.

Kazakhstan currently produces 85 percent of its power from coal, making it the largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases in Central Asia.

�In a country the size of Western Europe with a population of only 15 million, it makes no sense to centralize power generation around coal production areas,� UNDP project adviser Peter Dickson said. �Meeting power demand in southern Kazakhstan by adding capacity at Ekibastus is like building a power station in Germany to supply power to Spain.�

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