Kazakhstan to launch auction on purchase of renewable energy

Kazakhstan has long been showing interest in generating energy from renewable sources.

The first bidding of the international auction for the purchase of energy received from renewable and alternative sources will be held in May this year.

This was announced at a press conference by Kazakh Deputy Minister of Energy Gani Sadibekov, Kazinform reported.

“We set out to increase the share of alternative and renewable energy sources in the electric power industry to 30 percent by 2030. The renewable energy market is growing every year. In 2017, a billion kWh of this energy was produced. This is 22 percent more than in 2016. The plan for 2018 is 2.7 billion kWh of energy,” Sadibekov said.

Five renewable energy facilities were commissioned last year, another 10 facilities are planned to be commissioned this year with a total capacity of 123 megawatts, according to the minister.

The official noted that further development of renewable energy sources will occur through the auction mechanism.

This will give an opportunity to choose projects and investors, to make the process open and transparent. Such a system will give impetus to the implementation of the most cost-effective projects. In the current year, it is planned to hold international auction for renewable energy sources with a total capacity of 1 gigawatts. The first auction will take place in May.

The conditions of selection will be the same for all participants and they will ensure equality for all entrepreneurs. Anyone, regardless of citizenship, will be able to participate in the auction.

Sadibekov said that the desire to participate was expressed by the companies from Saudi Arabia, Canada, the U.S. and China in addition to domestic enterprises. Successful holding of the auction will reduce the cost of energy from renewable energy, as well as attract advanced technologies in this area.

Kazakhstan plans generating 50 percent of its electricity from renewable and alternative energy sources according to President Nazarbayev’s ambitious 2050 strategy. This strategy is a part of the country’s comprehensive initiative to transfer itself from one of the world’s major hydrocarbon energy producers to the green economy model.

Renewable energy production volumes will grow three times compared to current indicators, according to Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy. In three years, more than 100 alternative energy facilities will operate in the country compared to the current 50. The facilities will include 23 wind energy plants, 17 solar power stations and 13 hydroelectric power stations, as well as several plants producing biogas, an alternative energy source.

In addition to green energy, Kazakhstan’s transition also focuses on water source conservation, waste management and reduction of carbon emissions.

Special focus is currently being placed on wind power facilities, which is largely due to the unique natural conditions of the country’s regions. For example, the average annual wind speed reaches nine meters per second in the capital and Fort-Shevchenko, on the territory of the Dzungarian Gate and Shelek Corridor.

The areas, which measure approximately 50,000 square kilometers or 2 percent of the country’s total area, can produce a trillion kilowatt-hours per year, which significantly exceeds the nation’s energy needs.