"Green" energy to generate in new regions of Kazakhstan

Construction of new wind farms is planned in Ulytau and Abay regions
Фото: pixabay 12.08.2022 254

Wind farms play a key role, as one of the main sources of green energy generation. To date, there are already 43 wind farms in Kazakhstan with a total installed capacity of 894 MW, which makes it possible to reduce the amount of emissions into the environment annually. What are another advantages of the wind farm and why Kazakhstan cannot completely switch to this source of energy, Nurlan Kapenov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qazaq Green Association informed El.kz correspondent.

- Nurlan Nurgaliyevich, what are the advantages of wind power plants in comparison with other "green" energy sources?

- The main problem of "green" sources of energy generation is their instability. When compared with solar energy, the wind is more stable. Solar power plants bring more imbalance, wind smaller, as they are more or less predictable, stable, so the generation on them can be 24 hours a day. Solar energy after sunset is not produced.

- How costly is the construction of wind power plants compared to coal and solar?

- The Soviet stations that have already outlived their time, which were built in the 70-80s, they no longer require a return on investment. And if you compare a new wind and coal power plant, the tariff for the payback of the project at a wind power plant may well compete with a coal one.

- Then is it possible for Kazakhstan to switch completely to the wind farm, if it is so profitable both financially and from the point of view of ecology?

- No, this is not possible today, since wind generation is volatile, and we need basic stable generation, which can only be given by stable energy sources. You understand that if there is no wind, there will be no energy. Therefore, today it is impossible to completely abandon coal-fired generation. Perhaps, over time, there will be options when there will be cheaper systems of accumulation of energy.

But today it can be very expensive for Kazakhstan, given the fact that we have one of the lowest electricity tariffs in the world. Cheaper than Kazakhstani tariffs only in one or two states.

Accordingly, the installation of accumulation systems will not have the best effect on the tariff. And so far, there can be no question of complete replacement of coal-fired generation with renewable energy sources.

- Where are wind farms located in Kazakhstan and in which regions do they supply energy?

- Those power plants that we have supply electricity to the common national network, to the unified energy system of Kazakhstan and then it is distributed throughout Kazakhstan.

Wind farms are represented in almost all areas. The most developed in this regard are Jambul, Akmola, Almaty and Turkestan regions.

- Are there any other plans to build a wind farm in the near future?

- Yes. It is planned to build new wind power plants in new regions of Kazakhstan. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development used its tools to measure wind potential throughout the year and prepared project documentation for auctions of 150 MW.

It will be two wind farms - one for 100 MW in the Ulytau region near Zhezkazgan and the second - for 50 MW in the Kostanay region, near the city of Arkalyk. It is also planned to build a 50 MW wind farm near the city of Ayagoz. There are quite powerful wind power plants in the Aktobe region.

- How long does the construction of such a station pay off?

- It depends on the tariff at which electricity will be bought. These are long-term infrastructure projects, respectively, the payback period is quite long. But any investor tries to make a return on investment within 10-12 years.But taking into account the fact that the company wins auctions only by one criterion - the lowest price, respectively, the payback period may be longer, about 15 years.

- How much electricity have all the wind farms available in Kazakhstan generated over the past year?

- At the end of 2021, they generated 4.2 billion KWh. Last year alone, the volume of electricity generated by the wind farm amounted to about 1 billion 700 million KWh.

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