Alternative energy is the future

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June 11, 2016

Alternative energy is the future


According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), energy from renewable sources will take a significant share of the global energy mix (more than 30%), investment in this sector by 2030 by that time will amount to $ 400 billion. Building volumes and scale use of renewable sources can afford to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere by more than 1.1 billion tons, which will help to prevent an increase in mean atmospheric temperature.

Under these conditions countries with favorable natural conditions and political will to introduce innovations in energy sector have the most advantageous position. Uzbekistan is one of such countries. Our country has a huge, virtually inexhaustible potential of renewable energy sources (RES), which, according to experts, an order of magnitude greater than non-renewable resources of organic fuel. About 97% of the capacity falls on solar energy, and on the number of sunny days (320) Uzbekistan exceeds even Spain – the birthplace of modern solar energy. According to estimates of the Asian and World Banks, the gross potential of solar energy in Uzbekistan exceeds 51 billion tons of oil equivalent. In addition, according to experts, there are windy areas, as well as mountain rivers which can be used to generate electricity.

Topical issues of alternative energy development, national and international experience, best practices the legislative regulation of the use of renewable energy sources, the development of mechanisms for their implementation in the process of production of electrical energy, as well as raising the level of knowledge in the field of renewable energy sources were discussed in Tashkent on 6-7 June for the international roundtable on the topic “The law and practice of support for renewable energy development: national and international experience”.

Event was organized by the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan and its parliamentary group in the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis, Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economy, Joint-Stock Company “Uzbekenergo”, state’s Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan, the World Bank representative, the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia.

The forum was attended by representatives of the national parliament, ministries and agencies, national experts and experts from Austria, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Czech Republic and other countries, heads and staff of diplomatic missions of foreign states and representatives of relevant international organizations.

The event noted that Uzbekistan is currently developing at an accelerated pace on the practical use of renewable energy sources. Over the years of independence a solid legal framework in this area has been formed. In order to radically reduce the energy intensity of the economy based on the experience of developed countries, ensuring the rational use of non-renewable hydrocarbon resources, the implementation on this basis a sustainable supply of fuel and energy resources Program on reduce of energy consumption measures, introduction of energy saving technologies in the fields of economy and social sphere in 2015-2019 was adopted and implemented. At the same time put in place a significant number of solar photovoltaic power plants of low power, wind and solar power, solar hot water systems.

According to the participants of the conference – senior expert of the Austrian Agency for Environment Gilbert Ahamer, in modern conditions, when the development of alternative energy sources is becoming increasingly important, the natural conditions of Uzbekistan as a sunny land provide excellent opportunities for generating gelio (sun) energy and its subsequent use in various spheres of economy and everyday life. Appropriate legal and regulatory framework has been established for this. It encourages households and business entities in active implementation of innovative and environmentally friendly methods of power generation in the country.

– In a world of deteriorating environmental conditions, there is a global warming, dwindling natural resources, expert shares his views on the subject. – In such circumstances, the only solution is to develop an alternative – wind, solar and hydropower. Uzbek land has favorable conditions for development of this area, and the measures taken by the state to support it deserves attention and praise. The country also has great intellectual potential, what I found in discussions with Uzbek scientists and specialized experts. The combination of these two factors – natural and intellectual – is the key to the success of efforts of states in the field of RES development.

Uzbekistan’s plans for the construction of a large photovoltaic plant in Samarkand region for 100 MW is of great interest for me. This capacity is sufficient to meet the energy needs of about 100 thousand households. This project is also important from the point of view of environmental protection, as its successful implementation will avoid the emission into the atmosphere of more than 100 thousand tons of carbon dioxide.

I am sure that Uzbekistan, combining their natural advantages with skillful public policy, not only to ensure the introduction of renewable energy into the economy and everyday life, but also become a major exporter of cheap and clean energy to other countries.

Other our interlocutor – expert on development of legal documents in the field of renewable energy Irji Zemana (Czech Republic) said that Uzbekistan plays a unique role in Central Asia, as it has huge resources in the field of renewable energy.

– Your country skillfully uses its natural advantages, creating favorable conditions for the development of alternative energy, the expert said. – In particular, along with the creation of a regulatory framework is maintained and practical work on the construction and launch of wind, solar and hydro power. It is also noteworthy that the government strongly encourages business and the public use of renewable energy by providing them with appropriate privileges and preferences, subsidies. I am confident that the work carried out in this area will contribute to the further integration of renewable energy into the national economy.

At the same time at the forum they pointed out that the existing regulatory framework in the country in the field of renewable energy development needs to be improved, preparing special legislation which should reflect the legal, economic and financial, and administrative mechanisms to support renewable energy use. In this regard, he commended the foreign experts had to develop in our country, the draft law “On renewable energy sources”. According to participants of the conference, the adoption of this document will contribute to the environmental and energy security of the country.

Uzbekistan has significant scientific potential in the development of renewable energy sources. As part of the roundtable participants had the opportunity to visit the scientific and experimental center of the NGO “Physics-Sun” of the Academy of Sciences in Parkent district of Tashkent region and get acquainted with its activities.

Director of Quality and Strategy at the University of Applied Sciences (Germany) Christian Jakenak expressed the view that mankind is now heavily dependent on fossil resources, but unfortunately, their reserves are limited and, moreover, their use negatively affects the ecology of the planet.

– In this regard, progress made by Uzbekistan in the development and implementation of alternative energy is commendable. During our fact-finding trip to the scientific and experimental center in Parkent region we were convinced that the country has modern technology and huge intellectual potential in the field of solar energy. Further development of the existing capacity, holds great promise, as macroeconomic and political stability in Uzbekistan contribute to attract large-scale investments, including the development of energy sector, the German expert said.

At the meeting, experts also noted the importance of development of other RES – wind power, geothermal energy, building mini-hydropower plants. Particular attention was drawn to the fact that non-state actors – private companies, entrepreneurs, civil society institutions are actively involved into the implementation of the state policy on development of alternative energy in the country. In recent years they have implemented dozens of projects to develop RES pilot plants in protected areas and social facilities in different regions in collaboration with national foundations and international organizations.

Sharing his impressions of the event, UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan Stefan Prisner stressed that roundtable is very timely and important as issues of global warming are becoming increasingly important.

– This is evidenced by the fact that in December last year at a conference in Paris on Climate Change was signed by an international agreement to maintain the increase in the average temperature of the planet at a level below 2° C. Therefore, I believe that the discussion of the issues of improvement of legislation in the field of renewable energy within the framework of the event among Uzbek and foreign experts, as well as other conferences and roundtables, is very relevant and in tune with the global objectives, which are indicated in the Paris paper.

Today energy efficiency issues have been also discussed. UNDP in Uzbekistan is actively promoting the principles in this area, particularly with regard to regulation, construction of public and private buildings. This is one of the important components of our cooperation with republic. For us production of clean energy and its efficient use are important. Today’s forum has allowed developing specific recommendations in this area, S.Prisner summed up.

Thus, the holding of this forum has given a new impetus to the use of renewable energy, the expansion of knowledge in this field and familiarize the public with the experience of Uzbekistan in the development of alternative energy. A developed following the event will serve as a recommendation to develop new, more effective ways of using the natural advantages of our country in the name of sustainable development and prosperity for the benefit of future generations.

Recall that in order to exchange experiences and best practices on RES, legislative regulation of the sphere, increase of public awareness in recent years a number of international events with the participation of national and foreign experts were conducted in our country. 6th Asian Forum on solar energy, which was held in Tashkent in 2013 and attended by President Islam Karimov, gave new impetus to the development of alternative energy in Uzbekistan.