RES in close-up

June 28. Kazpravda

By Bela SYRLYBAEVA, Head of the Department of Economic Research, KazISR under RK President, candidate of economic science

RES in close-upRenewable energy is the fastest and cheapest way to solve the problems of energy supply of remote settlements, which is especially important for Kazakhstan.

Energy of the future is based on five main components. First is the use of renewable energy sources (RES) – sun, wind, water, geothermal energy and biomass. The second is decentralization of energy production. The third is the introduction of technologies of energy and resource saving. Then – transference of road transport on non-hydrocarbon fuels and electricity, as well as the development of new fuel-efficient modes of transport. Finally the fifth component is wide use of technology Smart Grid based on the principles and methods of standardization for interoperability of power equipment and information technology.

According to experts, 60% of our territory has real opportunities for the development of renewable energy. This is enough to provide a significant portion of energy consumption in the country. The republic’s provision on certain types of renewable energy sources, primarily on sun and wind potential, is estimated as one of the best in the world. Our potential is even higher than the indexes of the EU countries that have achieved today significant amounts in the green generation in their energy balances (in Denmark, Spain, and Germany – up to 20%).

As estimated by RK Ministry of industry and new technologies, the overall capacity of renewable energy sources in Kazakhstan is huge – about 1 trillion kWh / year (almost by 10 times more than power consumption in the country). But really, excluding large hydropower stations, we produce about 8 billion kWh / year, i.e. today the potential of renewable energy is realized at less than 0.1%, and their share in the total energy balance of the country is less than 1%. In this connection the need for active involvement of Kazakhstan in the global trend for the development of renewable energy sources is obvious.

The most promising areas for the development of alternative energy in our country are the following:

1) Construction of wind power plants (WPP) of large capacity, which are adequate to difficult climatic and seismic conditions, especially the terrain of Kazakhstan;

2) Construction of small wind turbines for local use with photo-electric units and power batteries for small remote autonomous consumers;

3) Construction of damless small hydropower plants on the mountain rivers, the elevation of which is 2 000-2 500 m.

4) Construction of a single net of hydroelectric plants and wind farms, united in a single system in the southern region of the Republic of Kazakhstan;

5) Production and installation of solar modules made from local raw materials, first of all from polycrystalline silicon.

6) Recycling and processing of agricultural, industrial and domestic wastes for the production of liquid bio fuels from non-food crops, heat and electricity, fertilizers and building materials, extraction of rare earth metals, reduction of pollution and improvement of health, re-cultivation of man-made landscapes.

7) Construction of energy-efficient housing, rise of energy – resource efficiency of buildings, green modernization of old housing that can give a significant impetus to construction sector.

Kazakhstan which has good natural possibilities, accumulated technological potential in the field of “green” energy, but its scope is clearly insufficient to change the profile of the national energy system.

In connection with this, the need of active involvement of Kazakhstan in the global green trend is obvious. In the result the republic could achieve the following objectives:

– In economy it is ensuring sustainable long-term growth, formation of a post-industrial energy system based on renewable energy and advanced energy solutions;

– In environmental protection it is reducing harmful effects on the environment (reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants).

– Social aspect includes creation of new high-quality permanent jobs, improvement of environment and quality of life.

Technologies of renewable energy involve latest achievements of scientific fields: meteorology, aerodynamics, thermal power, generator and turbine construction, microelectronics, power electronics, nanotechnology, materials science, etc.

Thereby due to development of renewable energy sources, Kazakhstan can successfully solve a range of problems, from the decline of demand for hydrocarbons to the development of exports and further advance of the national economy on the path of innovation and “green” development.