Current energy market situation
At the moment, 85.5% of Kazakhstan’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants and 8.7% from hydroelectric sources. The coal-fired plants are located in north coal-producing regions. Hydroelectric facilities are located mostly along the Irtysh River. Kazakhstan's southern regions do not have enough energy resources, and electricity consumption is covered by import from the Kyrgyz Republic. The transmission and distribution system comprises three networks, two in the north and one in the south, totalling 285,000 km of distribution lines. Of the northern networks, one exports electricity to Russia and the other imports from Russia. The southern network—connected to the Unified Energy System (UES) of Central Asia—imports electricity from the Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Current solar and wind markets situation
Kazakhstan is a very promising emerging market for wind and photovoltaic (solar PV) energy investments amongst CIS countries according to Kazakhstan Solar PV and Wind Power Market Outlooks 2015 - 2025. With the introduction of support mechanisms in the law in 2009, 2010, 2012 with the subsequent amendments in 2013 and newly approved FIT in June 2014, Kazakhstan photovoltaic and wind energy market is supposed to start growing in next years. Three wind power plants will be launched in Almaty oblast in the period from 2015 to 2018, two of them will be located in the Shelek corridor and another in the Djungar gates area. The country had a cumulative photovoltaic installed capacity of less than 3 MWp and wind capacity less than 7 MW at the end of 2013.
A feed-in tariff (FIT) for solar and wind energy in Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan has also adopted at the end of August 2013 a new feed-in tariff law – “On Supporting the Use of Renewable Energy Sources” – that will provide support to renewable energy producers. The EBRD has worked with the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and the Ministry of Environmental Protection to help develop various aspects of the new legislation, beginning with the model for determining the feed-in tariffs. The cost of the programme is estimated at KZT1,100 bn (€ 5.3bn).
The long and much anticipated feed-in tariffs for solar energy proposed by Ministry of Environment and Water Resources of Kazakhstan have been approved from the Government on 12 June 2014 and are equal to approximately € 0.145/KWh (KZT 34.61/KWh) for solar projects, € 0.09/KWh (KZT 22.68/KWh) for wind projects and 15 years PPA period are expected to pave the way for fast further growth of wind power and solar PV market in Kazakhstan according to Kazakhstan Photovoltaic (Solar PV) and Wind Power Market Outlooks 2015 - 2025
Announced solar and wind project in Kazakhstan by 15 June 2014
In Kazakhstan, investors and project developers have announced investment intentions to put into operation by 2020 for over 1,750 MW (1.75 GW) wind projects and over 700 MW (0.7 GW) solar PV projects. If you need a detailed list with announced solar and wind projects in the country, including company names, projects sizes and other data, please do not hesitate to contact the research and analysis department of Renewable Market Watch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wind and Solar resource potential of Kazakhstan
Exceptionally rich in wind resources, about 50% of Kazakhstan’s territory has average wind speeds about 4-5 m/sec at the height of 30m. Some calculations estimate Kazakhstan's wind potential around 1,820 billion KW/h per year spread over most of the country. Windy sites are mostly located in the Caspian Sea area of Atyray and Mangistau oblasts and central and southern Kazakhstan. A country wide-wind atlas is available. With a density of wind capacity about 10 MW/sq.km., there is a possibility to install thousands MW of wind farms in Kazakhstan.
Profile of electricity consumption and production in the country
The industry is the key consumer of electricity for the country (oil industry, metallurgy, mining, chemical industry, energy and machine construction), followed by households and transportation industry. The Kazakh economy is overall more energy-intensive than the economies of the countries in the EU. Wind and solar electricity account for less than 0.03 % of all electrify capacity. Interconnections with CIS countries have improved, stabilizing the power system.
More information about this up-and-coming solar and wind market you may read here: Kazakhstan Photovoltaic (Solar PV) and Wind Power Market Outlooks 2015 - 2025