January 23 , 2024
The government of Kazakhstan is looking to boost the amount of renewables in its energy mix to 30 percent by 2030. For this, it is actively seeking renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydropower.
As one of the world’s largest countries, the landlocked Central Asian country possesses vast natural resources including coal, oil, gas, and uranium. Despite being a major energy exporter, the country’s energy sector grapples with rising demand for electricity, among other challenges.
The country’s electricity struggles stem from ageing infrastructure dating back to the Soviet period. Power plants that have been in operation for many years continue to fail, resulting in regular power outages.
Moreover, rising economic demand for energy is driving an increase in power usage. The situation is putting further strain on an already ageing infrastructure. The country is thus considering diversifying its energy mix.
Turning to Renewable Energy
To overcome these challenges, Kazakhstan’s government is consequently exploring renewable energy sources – solar, wind, and hydropower. The government wants to boost the amount of renewables in its energy mix to 30 percent by 2030.
To this extent, the Kazakh government has been collaborating with some countries and foreign companies to help secure their energy needs and transition to cleaner energy. At COP28, the country signed a $1.4 billion agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to develop a 1 GW wind farm.
Additional 26 GW installed capacity
Recently, the Kazakh Ministry of Energy announced an action plan to increase 26 GW of installed capacity in Kazakhstan by 2035. The plan aims to achieve a 2035 installed capacity mix of 34.3% coal, 25.8% gas, 24.4% renewables (solar and wind), and 10.8% hydropower, reducing the country’s reliance on coal and gas. The proposal intends to reduce emissions by 44 MtCO2/year by 2035.
The increased projected capacity will be 5.6 GW from refurbishment and extension of existing power plants, with the remainder from new plants (6.7 GW to be auctioned). Existing plant expansions include constructing a 325 MW Unit 7 at Aksu GRES, replacing a turbine at the Karaganda power plant, and increasing the capacity of the Karabatan steam-gas plant.
New generating facilities
Besides increasing 26 GW of its installed capacity by 2035, there are plans by the ministry to develop a new facility in Zhezkazgan, install petrol stations in Aktau, Atyrau, Aktobe, Taraz, Kyzylorda, and Shymkent, and undertake other measures.
The country generates electricity from 220 power plants, including 144 renewable energy installations totaling 2.8 GW. The average amount of wear and tear on station equipment is 56 percent.
To address the country’s deficit and improve export potential, the ministry has devised an action plan for the expansion of the electric power sector, which calls for the construction of up to 35 GW of new generating capacity.
Samruk Energy, a Kazakh corporation, intends to build 12 GW of extra capacity, combining thermal, renewable, and hydroelectric. Following a November 2023 deal with Russia, the business, which presently operates 32% of Kazakhstan’s installed capacity, intends to build two additional CCGT gas-fired units in Almaty as well as thermal power plants in three towns.
Kazakhstan’s partnership with Samruk Energy shows the country’s dedication to incorporating experts in solving their energy crisis, as well as its focus on using renewables to create power, thereby minimising carbon emissions.
Source: Energy Ghana