Kazakhstan seeks to harness huge wind energy potential

Kazakhstan may soon become one of the world leaders in wind power generation, the country’s Minister of Energy, Almasadam Satkaliev told a parliamentary commission on February 23rd. According to the minister, as the world’s ninth-largest country, Kazakhstan has significant potential for the development of the renewable energy sector, with its vast territory highly suited to wind and solar power generation.

Kazakhstan’s climate is favorable for the construction of wind power plants as the country has wind corridors with wind speeds of more than five meters per second, a requirement for the operation of turbines. Experts estimate the potential of wind energy in Kazakhstan at 920 billion kWh per year. The Caspian Region, south Kazakhstan, and the Shelek Corridor and Dzhungar Gate located in the southeast have the most potential.

The minister also noted the possibilities for the utilization of solar energy. The southern regions of the country see 2,200-3,000 hours of sun per year, among the most in the world. The best areas for solar generation are the Aral Sea region and south Kazakhstan.

In 2023, Kazakhstan consumed 115 billion kWh of electrical energy, compared with 112.9 billion kWh in 2022, and produced 112.8 billion kWh, the same amount as in 2022. Last year Kazakhstan imported 3.4 billion kWh, and exported 1.4 billion kWh. In 2024, the country plans to generate 115 billion kWh.

According to the minister, renewable energy has shown steady growth, and since 2014 its capacity has increased more than 16-fold — from 178 MW in 2014 to 2,868 MW in 2023.

In 2023, the volume of electricity generated by renewable energy facilities amounted to 6.675 billion kWh, including 3.8 billion kWh from wind power plants, 1.8 billion kWh from solar plants, and 993.8 million kWh from hydropower plants. That accounted for 5.9% of the total electricity generation in the country. Kazakhstan’s goal is to achieve a 15% share of renewable energy sources in power generation by 2030, and a 50% share by 2050.