Energy shortage in Central Asia

RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS - In Brief 29 Nov 2021 by Alex Teddy

The five former Soviet republics in the region are facing a paucity of energy in winter. Kazakhstan is the largest in area and Uzbekistan is the largest in population. Only the west of Kazakhstan is contending with an energy shortage although ironically that is the oil and gas rich region.

On October 14 power planets in Kazakhstan shut down and 1 000 MW of electricity were lost. Hundreds of millions of USD have been spent on upgrading the energy infrastructure since the end of the USSR but the region still struggles to provide enough energy.

International financial bodies have given Central Asia money for this modernization. But it has not worked.

The Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company said that problems at its plants are due to malfunctions. The system has been overused. On November 8 and 9 there were blackouts in various regions of Kazakhstan.

In Uzbekistan there have been blackouts in October and November. The government has warned that natural gas supplies might be short this winter.

The President of Kyrgyzstan said that there is no need for energy rationing. However, in September there were limits placed on the use of electricity in non-residential buildings.

Tajikistan is afflicted by sporadic energy shortages.

Turkmenistan has the 4th largest gas supplies in the world. Despite that even its capital often suffer power cuts.

The region's population is rising fast. It is up 50% in the last 30 years. As people have got richer they use more energy.

Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are mountainous and they have great potential for hydroelectricity. Usually 90% of Kyrgyzstan's electricity is ...

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