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Does Central Asia Need More Load Management?

Todd Carney's picture
Writer, Freelance

Todd Carney is a graduate of Harvard Law School. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Communications. He writes on many different aspects of energy, in particular how it...

  • Member since 2021
  • 131 items added with 27,050 views
  • Mar 22, 2023

Central Asia has been a stronger energy exporter to much of the world. During this time, Central Asia has also worked to catch up to many countries in terms of having solid infrastructure and a stable society. These improvements have included reforming their energy sectors internally. Many of the reforms match what other countries are attempting in terms of load management. A piece from The Diplomat took a closer look at these reforms. 

The article looked at Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan in particular. It looked back to January 2022 when these nations faced a power outage. This problem seemingly came from the fact that these nations were modernizing and growing their populations, so these nations’ grids needed to expand to support the greater demand. The war in Ukraine further limited some of their resources. These countries are receiving as much as 80 percent of their energy from fossil fuels. As these resources get phased out, the countries could face further limitations.

The authors highlighted how there is great potential for Kazakhstan to use wind power and hydro modernization, and for Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to use solar energy. Utilizing these resources cannot happen overnight, so the article called on the governments to invest in these resources and change regulations to make it easier to develop the technology associated with these resources. The World Bank has estimated that these changes will require $20 billion in investments, all to be spent in the next five to ten years.

On top of further funding for innovation, the article also called on the nations to collaborate more and have unified energy sources. Additionally, the nations could invest in each other’s resources. For example, Kazakhstan has more strength in wind power, so other nations could invest in that, while Kazakhstan could invest in solar power in places like Uzbekistan.

These are all great ideas, but there were some points that the article should have addressed. While nuclear energy is controversial, Kazakhstan exports a lot of it. Should utilizing nuclear energy be part of the solution? Additionally, while Central Asian countries are not the poorest countries in the world, they have significantly less money than Europe and the US. So should Europe and the US provide aid for these projects? It’s certainly an altruistic thing to do, but it also would help in reducing the world’s carbon footprint. Furthermore, as the region becomes further unstable due to Russia’s actions, investing in these nations could make them less dependent on Russia and more friendly to the West.



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Thank Todd for the Post!
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