Renewables Offer Kyrgyzstan Energy Security

Country Overview

The Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) in central Asia is bordered Kazakhstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The population of Kyrgyzstan is approximately 6.79 million people.

In 1876, Kyrgyzstan was invaded, subjugated, and incorporated into the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution, Kyrgyzstan remained in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) as Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic. On 31 August 1991, the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) gained its independence as a sovereign nation, following the dissolution of the USSR.

In 2022, Kyrgyzstan’s economy was ranked 141st in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of gold, float glass, precious metal ore, and dried legumes.

Environmental Policies

In 2015, Kyrgyzstan signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by between 11.49% and 13.75% below business-as-usual levels by 2030.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 99.7% of the people in Kyrgyzstan had access to electricity. In 2021, power companies in Kyrgyzstan used renewable energy (89.9%) and coal (10.1%) to generate electricity across the nation. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Kyrgyzstan.

Recent renewable energy projects in Kyrgyzstan include:

  • 1,000 MW Solar Project – People’s Republic of China power company, China Power is continuing work on the Issyk-Kul Solar Photovoltaic Park project at a site approximately 75 miles east-southeast of the nation’s capital, Bishkek. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2026.
  • 300 MW Solar Project – Russian company Unigreen Energy is continuing work on a utility scale solar project at a site approximately 100 miles southeast of Bishkek. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2026.
  • Hydropower Projects – In July 2023, Kyrgyzstan authorities signed a memorandum of understanding and an investment agreement with a consortium of companies from the People’s Republic of China to build a series of hydroelectric power projects along the Naryn River in the northern region of the nation.

Conclusions

Kyrgyzstan imports refined petroleum and natural gas for transportation and heating. In 2021, Kyrgyzstan imported U.S. $781 Million of refined petroleum.

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.

The security of Kyrgyzstan’s power grid is being threatened by an increase in power demand, antiquated power grid, and drought which impacts the nation’s dominant source of power, hydroelectricity. The continued increase in the cost of imported refined petroleum and natural gas for transportation and heating also presents a threat to the nation’s energy security.

Kyrgyzstan has vast, undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, solar, onshore wind, and biomass. The government is now accelerating investment in new renewable energy projects to ensure energy security for the people of Kyrgyzstan.

 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 a diverse range of energy issues.

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