Renewables Can Diminish Expensive Kyrgyz Energy Imports

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Further dependence on fossil fuels could make the Kyrgyz Republic more vulnerable to volatility in fuel markets, according to an IRENA report

Abu Dhabi, UAE, 8 December 2022 – Rising fossil fuel imports are adding to the financial burdens of Kyrgyztan’s energy sector, according to a new report published today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). ‘Renewables Readiness Assessment: The Kyrgyz Republic’ identifies concrete actions that can help address the country’s energy challenges, develop a more diverse energy sector and improve the livelihoods of its citizens. Kyrgyzstan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 44% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

“Kyrgyzstan, like many countries in Central Asia and around the world, is striving to overcome the enduring challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “As efforts to secure a comprehensive socio-economic recovery continue, there is a need to focus on far-reaching measures that can help build a more resilient and diversified economy, improve the energy sector’s viability, attract investments in clean energy projects and propel the country towards its climate goals.”

“This renewables readiness assessment represents an important step toward establishing a secure, modern, diversified and clean energy system,” said H.E. Mr. Sultanbekov Sabyrbek, Vice-Minister of Energy of the Kyrgyz Republic. “New renewables technologies are able to provide competitive energy supply, while reducing negative impacts on the environment and human health, bringing opportunities for universal access to modern energy sources.”

Kyrgyzstan is among the most energy-intensive countries in the world, leading to recurring energy shortages and reducing economic productivity and competitiveness. While large hydropower is set to retain its role as the backbone of the power sector, the introduction of other renewables such as solar photovoltaic (PV), wind and bioenergy provide a reliable solution to rising energy demand and various social, economic and environmental benefits, according to the report.

The IRENA report, prepared in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy of Kyrgyzstan, proposes 12 key actions to accelerate renewable energy adoption in the country. The recommendations point to tariff reforms in the energy sector as key to creating a level playing field, generating revenue and lowering barriers to market entry for renewable energy projects. The report also highlights the need to implement auctions to attract investments to large-scale hydropower, solar and wind projects.

When it comes to unlocking the small-scale renewable energy market segment, the report recommends net metering, wheeling and other distributed generation policies. It also underscores policies that can promote the decarbonisation of end-uses through renewables-based electrification of heating and transport.

Read “Renewables Readiness Assessment: The Kyrgyz Republic” to learn more about the 12 key actions that can transform Kyrgyzstan’s energy sector.