Economics Driving Kazakhstan’s Move To Renewables

Country Overview

The Central Asian nation of the Republic of Kazakhstan is bordered by Russia, People’s Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea.  The population of Kazakhstan is approximately 19.70 million people.

In 1991, Kazakhstan declared its independence Russia, following the dissolution of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

In 2022, Kazakhstan’s economy was ranked 53rd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, gold, refined copper, ferroalloys, copper ore, and chromium oxides and hydroxides.

Environmental Policies

In 2015, Kazakhstan signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people of Kazakhstan had access to electricity. In 2022, the stage-owned utility, Kazakhstan’s Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), used coal (60.1%), natural gas (28.5%), renewable energy (11.3%), and refined petroleum (0.1%) to generate electricity across the nation. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy that generates electricity in Kazakhstan.

Recent renewable energy projects in Kazakhstan include:

  • 1,000 MW Wind + Energy Storage Project – Saudi Arabian energy company ACWA Power is continuing work on an onshore wind and battery energy storage system (BESS). The project is forecast to be completed by year-end 2027.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In December 2019, French energy company, TotalEnergies commissioned the KAT Solar PV Park project at a site approximately 450 miles south of the nation’s capital, Astana.
  • 20 MW Solar Project – In June 2022, Kazakh solar developer NextEcoEnergy commissioned a solar project near the nation’s capital, Astana.

Conclusions

Oil was first discovered in Kazakhstan in 1899. In 2022, Kazakhstan was the 12th largest crude oil and 33rd largest natural gas exporting country in the world.

The export of crude oil and natural gas are a cornerstone of Kazakhstan’s economy. In 2021, Kazakhstan exported U.S. $21.6 Billion in crude oil and U.S. $1.8 Billion in natural gas.

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, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Kazakhstan has vast undeveloped renewable energy resources, including wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass. The country’s renewable energy resources have the potential to replace the electricity generated from Kazakhstan’s existing fossil-fueled power plants.

Why is Kazakhstan actively developing the nation’s renewable energy resources? Economics pure and simple! The government intends to use renewable energy for domestic power, preserving natural gas and oil resources for export. Economics are driving Kazakhstan’s move to renewables.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.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, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.

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