Solar

Kazakhstan Mulls Adding 713 MW of Solar PV Capacity by 2020

The Kazakh government is aiming to add 3,054 MW of new renewable energy capacity by 2020, according to a new federal plan unveiled by state-owned national atomic energy company Kazatomprom. According to the plan, 713.5 MW of the total capacity would come from 28 PV power plants.

It is estimated that the 3 GW of sustainable energy capacity would satisfy approximately 3 percent of Kazakhstan’s electricity demand in 2020.

The renewable targets were announced during a workshop organized by Astana Solar, a Kazatomprom subsidiary specializing in solar module production.

“A large state-support legislative package has been passed by the Government this year, including regulation on feed-in tariffs, which all at the end has to get a large business’ attention to our production. Only next year alone we’re to gain over 100 MW of new solar power capacities,” said Viacheslav Sovetskij, director general of Astana Solar. “The existing legislative basis regulating sustainable energy will allow attracting investors in the development of the new sector of economy, which renewables is.”

He praised the workshop as “a dialogue platform” for exchanging views and making decisions in the development and implementation of solar projects.

Astana Solar was founded in 2012 to carry out a joint Kazakh and French PV project aimed to move ahead solar power expansion in the central Asian country and launch a fully integrated PV production line. Astana boasts being the first national photovoltaic module producer.

The main goal of the workshop was to encourage cooperation between the Kazakh government and private companies on solar power development.

Kazatomprom is active in the solar sector through its three subsidiaries ?stana Solar, specializing in production of solar modules, Kazakhstan Solar Silicon LLP, known for its wafer production, and KazSilicon LLP, which produces PV plates.

The workshop participants’ specific focus was on the implementation of the federal renewables development plan in the country, which aims to add to the power total slightly over 3 GW from renewable energy sources by 2020.

Looking well beyond 2020, the contribution of solar power on the grid will rise to 50 percent by 2050, according to Sovestkij.

“Today we’re seeing ongoing active efforts of renewables popularization in the country. This is part of the implementation of the Kazakh Government’s directive to boost sustainable energy in the country and seek energy diversification,” the Astana Solar head noted.

According to Sovestkij, the share of renewable energy into the power mix is increasing all over the world and Kazakhstan is not an exception.

“The target of 50 percent of the country’s power total coming from solar power by 2050 is tough, but feasible,” noted Sovestkij. “However, there are quite some issues that still remain to be solved in the pursuit. I mean not only the popularization of the energy source, but the economic facet of the sector has to be also considered. But on the whole we’re moving forward along the path trodden by others out there, which makes us easier here.” 

Lead image: Kazakhstan map via Shutterstock