Tajikistan: Clean energy project lights up rural lives

25 May 2011

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark this week visited a hydro power plant which provides a regular supply of clean energy to a rural community 30 kilometres south of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan.

“The hydro plant is very important to alleviating poverty and lifting living standards in the village,” said Helen Clark while visiting the power plant near Bozorboi Burunov, home to 22,158 people who depend on electricity for residential lighting and pumping water.

“The plant can do a tremendous amount to bring power to the village in winter, make sure that the school and hospital are heated, get more electricity to the homes, and provide the basis for small local businesses.”

UNDP partnered with communities in the area to repair a mini hydro power plant and install two new turbo-generator units, each with a 100-kilowatt capacity. The plant had been in disrepair and unused since 1976.

Electricity from one of the new generators reaches approximately 400 people or 60 households in a nearby village. It will also serve a local hospital, a school of 700 students, a kindergarten of 80 children, and a small-scale dairy until the second unit is completed in August.

Access to electricity and water enables the dairy to operate year round, processing daily up to 500 litres of milk bought from local dairy farmers.

The partnership also brought solar panels and insulation to a local health centre, generating and conserving renewable energy. In addition,the initiative installed a new boiler that has cut coal-fuelled heating by 20-25 percent.

The mini hydro power plant will eventually be connected to the main grid, selling electricity during periods of low consumption and helping to make the power plant economically sustainable.

Local communities benefit from small hydro and clean energy