By Swann Bigot, legal expert and consultant in international affairs, for Eurasia Network – June 28, 2017

solar panels - pixabay

Solar panels – source : pixabay.

The first 50 MW solar farm in Kazakhstan opened in 2015 will be upgraded up to 100 MW with the financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Thus, solar power stations “Burnoye Solar-1” and “Burnoye Solar-2” located in the south of the country will form the largest facility of this kind in Central Asia.

The EBRD will grant a loan in local currency amounting to $ 44.5 million over 15 years for the construction of “Burnoye Solar-2” in partnership with the Clean Technology Fund. This financial support is a part of a $ 200 million financing comprehensive program for renewable energy in the biggest country of Central Asia.

In addition, the Clean Technology Fund will provide a credit line of $ 10 million for a period up to 20 years. Remaining needed investment which is expected to reach $ 80 million will be funded by the owners of the solar farm.

Nandita Parshad, EBRD Managing Director for Energy and Natural Resources, stated:

Kazakhstan needs more such projects, such as the Burnoye solar power plant. […] Such projects contribute to develop the remote regions and allow to use the potential of renewable energy sources, which are abundant in Kazakhstan. I am proud that we are signing this project while essential discussions are opened on clean, secure and affordable energy in the region during the meeting of Energy Ministers within the framework of the “EXPO-2017” in Astana. After the success of the “Burnoye Solar-1”, the launch of this second solar project is the proof that Kazakhstan takes part in the global renewable energy revolution.”[1]

The new 50 MW station will be built by Samruk Kazyna United Green, a joint company between United Green Energy Ltd, an investment company registered in the United Kingdom, and TOO Samruk-Kazyna Invest, a subsidiary of the Kazakh sovereign wealth fund.

This large project is the second one in the Jambyl region which already hosts the “Burnoye Solar-1” – the first 50 MW solar power plant in Kazakhstan achieved in July 2015 thanks to new legislation that attracted private investment in the renewable energy sector. The global investment for this first 50 MW solar farm made of 192 thousand solar cells manufactured in Europe amounted to $ 122 million, reported the government of the Jambyl region. From July 2015 until April 2016, “Burnoye Solar-1” generated 73.18 million kWh, allowing to cover local energy shortages.

The plant located on a 150 hectares area is operated by the TOO Burnoye Solar-1, a company registered in April 2014.

Such a move confirms the development of renewable energy in Kazakhstan whose about 75% of energy balance still rely on coal extracted from mines of the north-east of the country.[2]

Both solar farms are expected to allow the reduction of CO2 emissions by 150 thousand tons per year, which represents the volume of greenhouse emissions from the operation of 30 MW of local coal-fired plants.

Moreover, the EBRD supports the efforts of Kazakh authorities in reforming legislation and establishing favorable conditions for investments in renewable energy projects. Indeed, the bank provided consulting services and support during the process of adoption of new legislation in 2009 on the use of renewable energy sources[3], which created opportunities for local and foreign investors.

So far, the Bank has invested €7.3 billion in Kazakhstan, of which €1.7 billion are dedicated to renewable energy and resources. In 2016 Kazakhstan became the EBRD’s second-largest country of operations by volume, reports the institution.

Renewable energy growth by 32%

In 2016 the national energy output from renewable energy sources grew by 32% to reach 928 million KWh. Renewable energy capacities in operation in Kazhakstan increased by 18% to amount to 296 MW. However, their share in the final energy balance still does not exceed 1%, rising from 0.77% in 2015 to 0.98% at the end of 2016. The rest of energy balance is generated from traditional sources: 79% from fuel power stations, 12% from hydropower plants and 8% from gas-fired stations.[4]

10% of national energy balance in 2030

Kazakhstan wants to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the national energy balance to 3% in 2020 and to 10% in 2030, stated the Kazakh Deputy Energy Minister Magzum Mirzagaliev in September 2016 during the Future Energy Forum held in Astana.

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© Copyright 2019 – Swann Bigot, legal expert and consultant in international affairs.

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Sources : 

[1] Forbes Kazakhstan, « ЕБРР инвестирует в «Бурное Cолар-2» – вторую солнечную электростанцию в Казахстане », 11.06.2017 : ;

[2] Ibid ;

[3] Закон Республики Казахстан О поддержке использования возобновляемых источников энергии от 4 июля 2009 года № 165-IV:

[4] В Казахстане растет доля возобновляемых источников энергии в секторе эненргетики, 03.04.2017, МК в Казахстане :