USAID-supported regional reforms lead to market liberalization and access to clean and affordable electricity, Tahra Vose, Press Attache of the US Embassy in Kazakhstan, told Trend.
Vose said that by partnering with Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, international donor agencies, and the private sector, USAID is strengthening regional cooperation on shared energy resources, including building a sustainable energy market and connectivity within Central Asia.
In Kazakhstan, USAID has provided training and technical assistance to modernize the country’s energy sector while safeguarding the environment.
“Our support has focused on energy efficiency, renewable energy, and supporting more private investment in the energy sector. We provide technical assistance to the Kazakhstan Ministry of Energy, the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company, the Financial Settlement Center, and others. More recently, our assistance has focused on improving the investment climate for renewable energy and improving the efficiency of the heating and power plants,” Vose said.
In 2018, the Government of Kazakhstan held Central Asia’s first ever competitive auctions for renewable energy projects, where private companies offered to build and operate plants and sell electricity at low cost.
“The USAID has provided assistance to the Government of Kazakhstan to hold these auctions, which have proven to be critical in scaling up the use of renewable energy. Since 2018, with USAID assistance, Kazakhstan has held renewable energy auctions for over 1,400 megawatts of solar, wind, and hydropower electricity projects, leveraging nearly $2 billion in private investment,” Vose added.
In Kazakhstan and the other four Central Asian countries, USAID is committed to helping the countries diversify their energy mix to include more renewable energy in the form of wind, solar and hydropower.
“We are providing assistance to the Government of Kazakhstan to help the country develop policies and regulations that support the provision of energy at a low cost that is competitive with the existing prices for electricity. This low cost is achieved in large part by making the market more attractive to private investment,” she said.