Solar Surges In Uzbekistan

National Economy

The population of the Republic of Uzbekistan is approximately 34.69 million people[1]. In 2021, 100% of the people in this central Asian country had access to electricity[2]

In 2022, Uzbekistan’s economy was ranked 83rd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export[4] of gold, pure cotton yarn, natural gas, cotton, refined copper, and ethylene polymers.

Environmental Policies

In 2017, Uzbekistan signed the Paris Climate Agreement and committed to a 10% cut in greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 2030, compared to 2010 levels[5].

In 2021, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy set the goal of developing 7,000 MW of new photovoltaic solar projects by 2030. The government’s goal is to generate over 25% of the nation’s electricity from renewables by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, the state-owned utility, JSC Uzbekenerg used natural gas (74.0 %), coal (15.7 %), renewable energy (8.4%), and oil (1.9 %) to generate electricity in Uzbekistan[6]. Hydropower is the dominant source of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Uzbekistan.

Recent renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan include:

  • 500 MW Solar Tender – In January 2023, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy announced the winners of the nation’s most recent solar tender were a 250 MW solar plus a 62 MW energy storage project to United Arab Emirates company, Masdar, 150 MW solar project to People’s Republic of China company, Power China, and a 100 MW solar project to French company, Voltalia.
  • 457 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, Abu Dhabi renewable energy company, Masdar commissioned the Sherabad Solar project, which is located in the southeastern region of the country.
  • 220 MW Solar Project – Masdar is continuing work on a solar project, located in the Samarkand region in southeastern Uzbekistan. The project is forecast to be commissioned by June 2023.
  • 220 MW Solar Project – Masdar is continuing work on a solar project, located in the Jizzakh region in the central-eastern Uzbekistan. The project is forecast to be commissioned by June 2023.
  • 131 MW Solar Project – In July 2022, French energy company, Total commissioned the Tutly Solar project, located in the Samarkand region in southeastern Uzbekistan.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In September 2021, Masdar commissioned the Nur Navoi solar project, which is located in the Navoiregion in southeastern Uzbekistan.

 Conclusions

The first major hydrocarbon discovery in Uzbekistan was the Gazly Field with over 3 Billion Barrels Oil Equivalent (BOE) in 1956[7]. In 2021, Uzbekistan was the 36th  largest natural gas exporting country in the world[8].

The export of natural gas is significant to Uzbekistan’s economy. In 2020, the export of natural gas generated over US $631 Million in revenue for the country.

Why has Uzbekistan begun to develop its renewable energy resources? Economics pure and simple. Uzbekistan’s economy is dependent on the export of natural gas and the country has vast solar and hydropower resource potential.

Uzbekistan’s government intends to replace the use natural gas for domestic power with solar energy projects. The government’s goal is to use natural gas primarily for export.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jack kerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

[1] Uzbekistan Population (2023) –  January 7, 2023, www.worldometers.info

[2] World Bank, “Access To Electricity (% Population) – Uzbekistan

[3] Gross Domestic Product By Country 2022 – Worldometer

[4] The Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) – Uzbekistan

[5] Carbon Brief – “2015: Tracking Country Climate Pledges”

[6] Our World In Data, Uzbekistan: Energy Country Profile by Hanna Ritchie and Max Roser

[7] Central Asian Bureau of Analytical Reporting, Current Situation & Future Of The Oil & Gas Sector In Uzbekistan by R. Ibrahimov

[8] Natural Gas Exports By Country 2021 by Daniel Workman

 

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