First ever local auction to boost Kazakhstan’s renewable energy market

Competitive bidding expected to halve solar electricity costs

February 7, 2020

Photo: UNDP

Kazakhstan for the first time conducted a solar auction that will lease out 100 hectares of public land to develop solar energy, connecting 40,000 householders to the grid.

Within a decade, solar energy could become a significant alternative source of energy for remote communities in Kazakhstan, covering up to 15 percent of the country’s energy needs by 2030. Currently, renewable energy sources make up 2.3 percent of the general energy output in the country.

In 2017, UNDP and the government of Kazakhstan unveiled an online atlas indicating each region’s renewable energy potential, with solar power emerging as a clear opportunity in the country’s southern half.

“Turkestan has been experiencing an economic boom and is a top priority for the government. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to go green, to demonstrate that immediate investments can lead to a new period of growth and rapid energy transition,” said Yakup Beris, the UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan.

The auction attracted investors from 6 countries, including Russia, Italy, Germany, China, the Netherlands, and Kazakhstan. 95 bids were submitted during the trading session, driving the price of electricity down to a record 0.032 USD/kWh. “Arm Wind LLP”, Eni’s branch company in Kazakhstan, won the auction and will move forward in leasing the land and begin construction on the solar plant.

The project has the established capacity of 50 MWt, enough to cover the energy needs of 40,000 householders for a year and enabling them to power homes, farms and manufacturing plants. In addition, the site will help eliminate 80,000 tons of carbon pollution.

The auction was jointly organized by the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, UNDP, the Global Environment Facility, USAID and a number of private firms based in Kazakhstan.

In June 2019, UNDP and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) announced a global partnership to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy and offer concrete steps to achieve sustainable development by leveraging complementarity between IRENA technical expertise and UNDP vast portfolio of climate projects in 140 countries around the globe. Kazakhstan is one of the five countries participating in the #ItsPossible campaign