Uzbekistan Welcomes Large Scale Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Projects
/25th February 2019, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ Uzbekistan plans five large scale solar photovoltaic (PV) by 2021. Energy security, affordability, and efficiency are key priorities of the government’s energy strategy, according to the recently published report Uzbekistan Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Market Outlook 2018÷2027. Uzbekistan is a promising country among CIS states for investors in solar photovoltaic (PV) energy due to its excellent solar irradiation potential and high fossil fuels dependency rate. The government has adopted policy and legal frameworks with clear goals to reduce energy intensity and losses, and enhance sector investments and institutional change. According to the Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan dated №4512 ’On measures for further development of alternative energy sources’, principal attention is being paid to broader use of solar energy and biogas. Uzbekistan exports 25% of its natural gas through its pipeline network of over 12,000 kilometers (km) and 250 gas compressor stations.
CURRENT POWER MARKET SITUATION
The energy sector underpins Uzbekistan’s sustained growth and private sector development. Uzbekistan enjoys abundant fossil fuel energy resources with rich coal, oil, and gas reserves. However, it is also one of the most energy- and carbon-intensive countries in the world. Natural gas remains the main energy source in Uzbekistan, followed by coal and large hydro. The country has about 1.8 trillion cubic meters of proven natural gas reserves, 590 million barrels of proven oil reserves, and about 3 billion tons of recoverable coal reserves. The reserve to production ratio for local gas is about 25–30 years, but this is likely to increase as potential natural gas reserves are being explored.
The government owns and manages the energy sector in Uzbekistan. After a public sector reorganization in August 2001, the Ministry of Energy and Electrification was transformed into Uzbekenergo as a state joint stock company. Uzbekenergo, a vertically integrated and publicly-owned monopoly (in charge of electricity generation, transmission, and distribution), operates under the supervision and regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers. The Ministry of Finance sets electricity tariffs.
The sector of Uzbekistan is corporatized with separate business units, and further restructuring of Uzbekenergo is planned. The key objective is to commercialize its utility operations and introduce competition in its various business lines. Uzbekenergo aims to transform its management and operations to become a model power utility in the region. This will involve introducing new skills, business practices and technology.
Uzbekistan’s household electrification rate is almost 100%, but its aging and overloaded electricity system is a cause of the power demand–supply gap, especially in rural areas. This affects households’ quality of life, economic activity, and delivery of social services. Uzbekistan’s grid infrastructure shall need a lot of investments by 2030 in order to modernize transmission lines, most of which are in a poor condition.
CLIMATE AND ENERGY POLICIES
Uzbekistan aims to maximize savings through rational use and application of clean energy technology, integration of energy efficiency into national planning, improvement of sector performance through commercializing utility operations, attraction of private sector participation, and increase of energy exports on a commercial basis.
Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia. Despite it is the biggest producer of electricity in the region, the country’s power sector is highly inefficient because most of the power generation facilities are from Soviet Union era. Since 2016 Uzbekistan has significantly focused its attention on the development of renewable energy resources and, in particular, solar energy, in a bid to diversify its energy balance and reduce its dependence on gas.
CURRENT SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV) MARKET SITUATION
The maturing European, Asian and North America markets allowed investors to look for new opportunities in CIS states, according to the research department of Renewable Market Watch™. In recent years, The country is blessed with abundant solar irradiance (annual total global horizontal irradiance) of 1,400 - 1,800 kWh/m2.
In 2017, the government of Uzbekistan announced clean energy targets for 1.2GW of hydro power, 450MW of solar PV power and 300MW of wind power by 2025. In 2018, Uzbek president Shavkat Mirziyoyev announced plans to tender 500 MW of solar PV power distributed in five projects of 100 MW each between 2017 and 2021. Recent decisions and revised legislation in 2017 in the energy sector will lead to an increased role solar photovoltaic (PV) power in energy supply.
Solar PV capacity in the country at the end of 2018 is insignificant, but is forecasted to increase in the next decade, reveals Renewable Market Watch™ in its recently published report Uzbekistan Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Market Outlook 2018÷2027.
SOLAR AUCTIONS IN UZBEKISTAN
China Singyes Solar Technologies Holdings Ltd at the end of 2016 was announced as the winner in a tender for the deployment of 100 MW of photovoltaic (PV) capacity in the Samarkand province of Uzbekistan with a total investment cost of USD 274M. However, this project was later suspended.
The French Total Eren and state owned company Uzbekenergo signed a contract to jointly implement a solar power plant project in the Samarkand province in October 2018 as a part of the partnership agreement between the government of Uzbekistan and the French Development Agency to drive infrastructure projects worth an estimated USD1.15 billion (€1 billion). Total Eren is a renewable energy unit of French oil giant Total.
Uzbekenergo has issued at the beginning of this month a request for pre-qualification for the 100 MW solar PV project, planned for the Navoiy region in southwestern Uzbekistan. The project shall be developed with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The tender procedure is expected to finish by the end of June 2019..
MAJOR SOLAR PV PROJECT DEVELOPMENTS
A global leader in sustainability and utility-scale solar production, SkyPower, has announced in 2018 an estimated $1.3 billion foreign direct investment in Uzbekistan to build 1,000 MW (1 GW) of solar energy generation capacity throughout the country. This project will bring the largest foreign direct investment in Uzbekistan’s history. Uzbekistan and SkyPower also signed the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in the country’s history, whereby the government will be purchasing power from an international and private company. SkyPower will be the first independent power producer in the history of Uzbekistan, working closely with state-owned utility company Uzbekenergo. This project is also the first public-private partnership between Uzbekistan and a truly North American company.
Middle East’s leading developer and operator of utility-scale clean energy projects, Masdar announced in October 2018 the signing of an agreement to build wind and solar PV power plants in Uzbekistan. The size of the projects is still not announced, but is supposed they will be large scale.
If you need more information for solar projects in Uzbekistan, please do not hesitate to download from here: Sample list with contact details of solar project owners in Uzbekistan
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