In 1991, Turkmenistan declared its independence Russia, following the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
In 2021, Turkmenistan’s economy was ranked 108th in the world in terms of total exports. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of natural gas, crude oil, refined petroleum, nitrogenous fertilizers, and pure cotton yarn.
In 2015, Turkmenistan signed the “Paris Climate Agreement”, committing to achieve zero growth in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 with “certain international support.”
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 100% of the people in Turkmenistan had access to electricity. In 2022, the stage-owned utility, Turkmenenergo used natural gas (99.96%) and renewable energy (0.04%) to generate electricity across the nation. Hydropower and solar are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Turkmenistan.
Recent renewable energy projects in Turkmenistan include:
- 100 MW Solar Project – Arab Emirates company Masdar is continuing work on a 100 MW solar power project in Turkmenistan.
- 10 MW Wind + 3 MW Solar Project – Turkish energy company, Çalik Enerji is continuing work on a hybrid wind plus solar project at a site approximately 250 miles north of the nation’s capital, Ashgabat.
- Solar Tender – In March 2023, Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Energy launched a tender to procure solar photovoltaic equipment that will be used to develop green energy power plants in remote areas of the nation.
The export of natural gas, crude oil, and refined petroleum is the cornerstone of Turkmenistan’s economy. In 2021, Turkmenistan exported U.S. $4.88 Billion in natural gas, U.S.$808 Million in refined petroleum, and U.S. $211 Million in crude oil.
On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Turkmenistan has vast, undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, onshore wind, hydropower, and biomass. The country’s renewable energy resources could easily replace the electricity generated from natural gas and refined petroleum fueled power plants.
Why is Turkmenistan beginning to develop the nation’s renewable energy resources? Economics pure and simple! Turkmenistan plans to use renewable energy for domestic power, preserving natural gas and oil resources for export. Turkmenistan is turning to renewables.
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
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.