Renewables Offer Afghanistan A Solution For Expensive Oil Imports

Country Overview

The country of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and the People’s Republic of China. The population of Afghanistan is approximately 42.65 million people.

In 2022, Afghanistan’s economy was ranked 129th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of gold, grapes, tropical fruits, raw cotton, and other nuts.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Afghanistan signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to 13.6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, compared to a business-as-usual scenario and conditional upon international support.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 97.7 % of the people in Afghanistan had access to electricity. In 2021, state utility, DABS Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat used renewable energy (84.3%) and refined petroleum (15.7%) to generate electricity in Afghanistan. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in the country.

Recent renewable energy projects in Afghanistan include:

  • 100 MW Hydropower Renovation Project – Russian company, Technopromexport is continuing work on the Naghlu hydropower renovation project which is located in the northeast region of the country.
  • 10 MW Solar Project – In September 2019, Indian company, Dynasty commissioned the Kandahar solar power plant at a site approximately 300 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Kabul.
  • 5 MW Hydropower Project – In September 2021, the Afghan government commissioned the Shorabak hydroelectric dam in the northeast region of the country.


Afghanistan imports refined petroleum for power generation and transportation. In 2021, Afghanistan imported U.S. $50.6 Million of refined petroleum and U.S. $165 Million of electricity from Iran and Turkmenistan.

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.

Afghanistan has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, wind, solar, and biomass. Renewable energy is providing Afghanistan a solution for expensive refined petroleum imports.

Jack Kerfoot

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

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