Kazakhstan wind power

China signed a wind power cooperation program with Kazakhstan as Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a work visit to the Central Asian country. China Guandong Nuclear Power Co (CGNPC) from China’s major economic engine Guangdong Province, signed the program with Kazakstan’s sovereign wealth fund Samruk Kazyna. The program will be followed by a series of cooperative projects jointly launched by the two countries in the field of renewable energy and wind energy.

China, driven by its rosy economic growth, is in dire need of the renewable energy to ensure a green development that no longer depends overwhelmingly on the heavily-pollution coal burning. During the bilateral meeting, President Hu also proposed to his Kazakhstan counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev to enhance their cooperation in the renewable energy.

“We should accelerate the implementation of the first patch of cooperative projects (in the field), and ensure as soon as possible the field will grow into a large scale and become profitable,” Hu said. Hu also called on Kazakhstan to enhance their cooperation in the energy field as well as the mineral sector. But he did not elaborate on the topic.

Kazakhstan plans to build a five megawatt wind power station by 2010 at Dzungarian Gates near the Chinese border as part of an electric energy industry development programme. The Global Environmental Facility approved a fund of $2.5 million, while the government allotted $4 million. The United Nations Development Program expressed support in the project and intends to provide technical aid to support development of wind power industry in Kazakhstan, according to local reports.

Kazakhstan has the world’s largest potential of wind power resources per capita, according to the Kazakh research and development institute Kazselenergoproekt. It is estimated at 1.82 trillion kilowatts per hour.

Kazakstan, officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is an Asian country which is ranked as the ninth largest country in the world. It is also the world’s largest landlocked country. Its territory of 2,727,300 km² is greater than Western Europe. It is neighbored clockwise from the north by Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and also borders on a significant part of the Caspian Sea. The capital moved in 1997 to Astana from Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city.

Vast in size, the terrain of Kazakhstan ranges from flatlands, steppes, taigas, rock-canyons, hills, deltas, in part snow-capped mountains and deserts. With 16.4 million people (2009 census), Kazakhstan has the 62nd largest population in the world, though its population density is less than 6 people per square kilometre (15 per sq. mi.).

According to Kazselenergoproekt, Kazakhstan has a unique geographical location in the wind belt of the Northern Hemisphere. The research institute has identified 15 promising sites to construct large wind power stations. Experts note that the "intensity of wind potential in a number of locations in the country is as high as 10 megawatt per a square kilometer – such wind potential is unique". Particularly promising is the potential of Dzungarian Gates and Shelek Corridor, located near the Chinese border.

About 90 percent of Kazakhstan’s electricity is generated from coal and gas. The remaining 10 percent comes from hydroelectric power. The move is part of Kazakhstan’s efforts to develop alternative energy as it aims to alleviate dependence on oil and gas revenues. Wind power, solar energy, hydropower and biomass are part of this diversification program. The plan aims to build 500 megawatts of installed wind power capacity by 2030.

Kazakhstan possesses significant resources of renewable power: hydropower, solar power, wind power, and biomasses. However, these resources are not widely used, except for hydropower. Production of electrical power and heating is the main fuel consumer in Kazakhstan. Every year, this sector consumes about 30 million tons of fuel. Coal makes the major share in the fuel balance of power stations, with about 75%, while the share of natural gas is 23%, and that of fuel-oil, 2%.

Despite current generating capacities, there is lack of electrical power production. The total rated capacity of power stations is about 18,700 MW. However, the current generating capacities have a long lifetime (25 years or more). The available capacity is about 14,600 MW. In the structure of generating capacities, heating stations make up 15.42 MW or 87% of the total capacity. The share of hydro stations is about 12%, and the others, about 1%.

Due to extensive depreciation of fixed assets, significant investments will be required for construction of new power stations to meet the power demand. In 2007, the Government of Kazakhstan approved the Plan on Development of the Electrical Power Industry in Kazakhstan until 2015. This Plan includes commissioning of new facilities (5,598 MW) by 2015, including 4,250 MW of coal-operated facilities.

Considering the current location of power facilities, lack of electrical power will remain in all regions except for the northern area with surplus power as it has about 60% of all generating capacities.

The concept on transition of Kazakhstan towards a sustainable development for 2007-2024, approved by OrderNo. 216 of the President of Kazakhstan on November 14, 2006, specifies that a sustainable economic development of Kazakhstan will utilise support for environment-friendly and effective power production, including use of renewable sources and recycled materials.

Laws of Kazakhstan On Electrical Power and On Energy Saving mention the need to develop and use renewable energy sources. However, they do not offer any direct measures to support renewable energy sources.

The 2007-2009 Action Plan for the concept on transition of Kazakhstan towards a sustainable development for 2007-2024 includes legislative upgrades on sustainable development issues, renewable and alternative energy sources. In this respect, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Environment Protection, the MEMR and the UNDP project on wind power drafted a bill On Support for Use of Renewable Energy Sources.

Active work is currently being done on the development of using renewable energy sources. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan and UN Development Programme “Kazakhstan – Wind Power Market Development Initiative” developed a draft of the National Programme on Development of the Wind Power until 2015, with extension until 2024 (DRAFT). The National Programme on Development of the Wind Power aims to involve significant wind power resources in the country’s power balance and thus support the plans to reduce energy intensiveness of the national economy and increase the share of alternative energy sources in the total power balance of the country up to 5% by 2024, as well as stabilise greenhouse gas discharges to meet the 1990 level.

The goal of the Programme is use of Kazakhstan’s wind power potential to produce electrical power totalling 900 million kWh per year by 2015, and 5 billion kWh by 2024, as set out by the concept on transition of Kazakhstan towards a sustainable development for 2007-2024 and the strategy of industrial and innovative development of Kazakhstan for 2003-2015, in order to preserve natural resources and protect the environment.

Kazakhstan wind-power engineering development initiative project

The objective of the project is stimulating wind power market in Kazakhstan in order to reduce greenhouse gases emissions from the energy sector and thus to reduce adverse impact on climate change.

The following basic results are to be achieved during project implementation:

*Wind Power Engineering Development National Program has been elaborated,
*Recommendations on normative legal support and wind power engineering projects financing schemes have been worked out;
*Local opportunities on elaboration and implementation of wind projects have been developed,
*Wind atlas of Kazakhstan has been worked out;
*Pilot wind power station with a capacity of 5 ÌWatt has been built in Jungar gates;
*Experience and results of the project have been summarized in order to further develop wind power engineering in Kazakhstan.
*Results of the contest on pilot wind power station construction have been summed up. The winner of the contest has been selected. Contacts are being prepared.
*Research on wind potential has been conducted, a report and a map of places favorable for installation of wind power stations has been prepared.
*Analysis of different alternatives and preparation of proposals on introducing new innovation mechanisms of financing wind power engineering in Kazakhstan is conducted.

A tender on supply of masts and meteorological equipment has been conducted, contracts are being concluded.