How Uzbekistan is Becoming a Solar Energy Powerhouse
Foundation laid for Uzbekistan’s solar energy goals
With assistance from ADB, Physics Sun and the International Solar Energy Institute prepared and submitted the Uzbekistan Solar Energy Development Roadmap for presidential approval.
The road map details the country’s strategies to modernize, upgrade, and rehabilitate the electric grid in preparation for projected electricity generation and demand. It also specifies plans for building solar energy-related capacity in different sectors (e.g., financial and local industry) and centers for excellence that will initiate educational and training programs for potential solar energy experts. The road map also includes plans to develop build-operate-transfer and design-build-operate agreements to alleviate state-owned Uzbekenergo investment.
The establishment of the solar energy institute and road map are Uzbekistan’s initial steps in attaining energy security and becoming an international knowledge and technological hub for solar energy. Collaboration and consultation with all stakeholders will continue until the necessary enabling policies have been enacted and the industry starts to develop.
New job opportunities and increased power supply
Completion of the power plant will directly benefit Samarkand province. Construction will generate new jobs, 70% of which can be filled by locals. Demand for PV professionals will increase because the ratio between installed capacity of PV and CSP will reach 5:1 in 2030. Potentially, Samarkand’s industrial hub will create a new industry for PV power plants. Moreover, additional energy supply will stimulate economic activity. Current supply suppresses demand and constrains the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Nationally, the project can improve the sustainability of Uzbekistan’s energy supply and increase the generation of renewable energy. The estimated gross output of the Samarkand solar energy power plant is estimated at 159 gigawatt-hours per year. Solar energy development will also lead to fuel savings, reduced fuel imports, and lower carbon emissions. To enable a match between suitable carbon financing and support for capacity building, a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action is undergoing development based on the solar energy development road map, for inclusion in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The views expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Asian Development Bank, its management, its Board of Directors, or its members.