Bakhtiyor Akhmedov: Bringing Light and Warmth

How an Electrician from Karakalpakstan Mastered a In-Demand Profession

June 29, 2023

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Author: Bekzat Anarbekov

Every morning, Bakhtiyor Akhmedov's day begins with a phone call – the village of Mangit urgently needs his help. Known as "Aka" to those around him, Bakhtiyor is always prepared, with his toolbox at the ready. After a quick breakfast, he sets off to the neighboring village, where he is eagerly awaited. His purpose? To bring light and warmth to people's homes. Bakhtiyor Akhmedov, an electrician from the Amudarya district of Karakalpakstan, has become one of the few specialists in the region who service solar photovoltaic systems installed in newly constructed multi-story and private houses.

In today's world, more and more people are seeking out environmentally friendly sources of energy, and solar panels have become increasingly popular. As a result, the demand for professionals who can install and maintain these solar panels has skyrocketed. They find themselves inundated with a constant stream of work.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

"I grew up in a rural area where power outages were a common occurrence. But once I learned about solar panels and witnessed their potential, I realized that they could revolutionize the lives of people in rural communities and bring them happiness. And that's what brings me joy," says Bakhtiyor Aka with a warm smile.

As the construction of houses with solar panels began in Karakalpakstan and the neighboring Khorezm region, Bakhtiyor Akhmedov immersed himself in studying the principles and installation schemes of these systems through online resources. In the absence of specialized courses within the republic, he sought out opportunities to learn from those who were already equipping and installing solar systems in new buildings.

Between 2020 and 2021, as part of the "Promoting the Development of Energy-Efficient Rural Housing Construction in Uzbekistan" project, solar photovoltaic systems (PV systems) with a capacity of 600 Watts were installed on the roofs of four-story apartment buildings in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Kashkadarya, Bukhara, Namangan, and Tashkent regions. This project, carried out by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with the Ministry of Construction and Communal Services of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and with grant support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), aimed aims to provide rural populations in Uzbekistan with improved and environmentally friendly living conditions.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Through this initiative, 528 PV systems were installed, providing electricity to meet the basic needs of 528 apartments in 22 multi-story buildings. These systems power essential appliances such as televisions, energy-efficient refrigerators, and personal electronic devices. Alongside the implementation of thermal insulation, these installed PV systems make these buildings energy-efficient and low-carbon, contributing to a greener future.

Now, having completed the training provided by the project, Bakhtiyor Akhmedov dedicates his time to installing and fine-tuning solar panels and inverters. He ensures the proper technical maintenance and repair of equipment, swiftly identifying and resolving any issues related to electricity production. Moreover, Bakhtiyor actively educates users about the benefits and capabilities of solar panels. As one of the few specialists in the republic, he also shares his knowledge with young electricians, teaching them the installation and maintenance of PV systems.

"People are now realizing the crucial importance of caring for the environment and reducing harmful emissions. Pollution and water scarcity have affected every family. Utilizing the abundant solar energy available in our country for household needs is a technological breakthrough that can transform the lives of every family," Bakhtiyor Akhmedov passionately emphasizes.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

"Thanks to solar panels, our apartments automatically switch to PV systems during power outages. Our lights never go out, and our homes remain warm. The natural energy derived from sunlight brings immense benefits to the environment and our family budget. And with individuals like Bakhtiyor Aka, who actively promote the advantages and benefits of solar energy wherever they go, more and more people are considering connecting their homes to solar panels," states community activist - Berdibay Kidirbayev.

By the time Bakhtiyor Akhmedov returns home, it's already approaching seven in the evening. In a single day, he visits several villages, always greeted by his large family upon his return. Reflecting on his journey, Bakhtiyor remarks, "Could I, a simple boy from a small village, ever dream that one day I would be working with technologies that bring light and warmth to homes through solar energy, making people's lives better? This, to me, is true happiness."

"Could I, a simple boy from a small village, ever dream that one day I would be working with technologies that bring light and warmth to homes through solar energy, making people's lives better? This, to me, is true happiness."
Bakhtiyor Akhmedov