Solar Booming In Uzbekistan

Country Overview

The Republic of Uzbekistan in Central Asia is bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan.   The population of the Republic of Uzbekistan is approximately 35.41 million people.

In 1876 the region comprising present-day Uzbekistan was subjugated by Imperialist Russia. In 1924, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) established the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. On 31 August 1991, Uzbekistan gained its independence as a sovereign nation, following the dissolution of the USSR.

In 2022, Uzbekistan’s economy was ranked 70th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of gold, pure cotton yarn, refined copper, natural gas, and radioactive chemicals.

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.

In 2021, Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy set the goal of developing 5,000 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, 99.9% of the people in Uzbekistan had access to electricity. In 2021, the state-owned utility, JSC Uzbekenerg used natural gas (74.3%), coal (15.4%), renewable energy (8.5%), and refined petroleum (1.8%) to generate electricity in Uzbekistan. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Uzbekistan.

Recent renewable energy projects in Uzbekistan include:

  • 457 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, United Arab Emirates (UAE) renewable energy company, Masdar commissioned the Sherabad Solar project at a site in the Surxondaryo region in southeastern Uzbekistan.
  • 250 MW Solar + 62 MW Energy Storage Project – Masdar is continuing work on a solar project plus battery energy storage system at a site in the Bukhara region in western Uzbekistan.
  • 220 MW Solar Project – In June 2023, Masdar commissioned a solar project at a site in the Samarkand region in southeastern Uzbekistan.
  • 220 MW Solar Project – In June 2023, Masdar commissioned a solar project at a site in the Jizzakh region in the central-eastern Uzbekistan.
  • 131 MW Solar Project – In July 2022, French energy company, Total commissioned the Tutly Solar project at a site in the Samarkand region in southeastern Uzbekistan.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – French renewable energy company, Voltalia is continuing work on a solar project at a site in the Khorezm region in northwest Uzbekistan.
  • 100 MW Solar Project – In September 2021, Masdar commissioned the Nur Navoi solar project at a site in the Navoi region 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. In 2022, Uzbekistan was the 44th  largest natural gas exporting country in the world.

The export of natural gas is significant to Uzbekistan’s economy. In 2021, natural gas exports generated approximately U.S. $ 722 Million for Uzbekistan.

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, hydropower, wind, and biomass resource potential.

Uzbekistan’s government intends to replace the natural gas fueled power plants with solar power plants, preserving the nation’s natural gas resources for export. Solar development is booming in Uzbekistan.

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

 

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