WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson accompanied the EU Commission to a one-day energy workshop with the Government of Uzbekistan in Tashkent on 15 February. Christopher Jones, Deputy Director General of DG Energy, led the EU delegation which also included representatives of the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the solar and gas industries.
Today, Uzbekistan meets nearly all of its power needs from gas but is keen to expand into renewables. The country is developing a 102MW wind farm and hopes to do more, pending the success of the project. The government wants to deploy European technology and in the long-term would like to develop local manufacturing capability.
Dickson explained the key factors behind the development of wind power in Europe. The Uzbek Government – and the state-owned utility, Uzbek Energo – understood that onshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation but were worried about the costs of system integration. Dickson explained how EU countries manage system integration and stressed the importance of smart and efficient transmission networks and the optimisation (notably via energy management IT) of different sources generation across a power portfolio.
He highlighted the need for stable regulation and a clear and effective tariff structure for wind power: Uzbekistan drafted a renewables law in 2014 but has yet to enact it.