In recent years, Uzbekistan has been paying close attention to the construction of wind farms among renewable energy sources. This area is today the fastest growing in the global energy sector.
For Central Asia, further acceleration of the use of alternative energy is especially important given the reduction in water resources in the region.
Here are some figures for wind energy. If in 1997 the total installed capacity of wind power plants in the world was 7,500 MW, then by 2020 this figure reached 750,000 MW. On a country-specific basis, in 2020 alone, 52,000 MW of new wind farms were commissioned by the People’s Republic of China and 16,205 MW by the United States.
In addition, there is a tendency to reduce the cost of electricity generated by wind power plants (WPP). Thus, in the period from 2010 to 2020, the average cost of electricity generated by onshore wind farms decreased by 56 percent – from 8.9 US cents to 3.9 US cents per kWh.
In the Republic of Uzbekistan, in cooperation with international financial institutions, feasibility studies have been carried out for the widespread use of wind energy. The “Concept for the provision of the Republic of Uzbekistan with electric energy for 2020-2030” has been developed, one of the main goals of which is to bring the wind power capacity to 3000 MW by 2030.
It should be noted that the indicators of wind potential in the territories designated for the construction of wind farms in Uzbekistan are higher than the average for existing wind farms in the world. In other words, when comparing the power utilization factors, it was found that the indicators of our country are 1.5 times higher than the world average. For example, out of a total of 8,760 hours per year, wind farms in Uzbekistan can operate at full capacity for about 3,900 hours.
To date, several projects for the construction of wind farms have been launched in Uzbekistan. Including:
– Construction of a wind farm with a capacity of 500 megawatts in Tamdy district of Navoi region, an agreement on which was signed with Masdar from the UAE. The cost of the project is US$600 million, after reaching full capacity, the wind farm will annually generate 1.8 billion kWh of electricity, saving 546 million cubic meters of natural gas per year.
– An agreement on the construction of two wind farms was signed with the Saudi Arabian company ACWA Power. The company will build wind farms with a total capacity of 1,000 megawatts in Gijduvan and Peshku districts of Bukhara region at a cost of US$1.3 billion, which will save 1.1 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year.
– Together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a tender was held for the construction of a 100 MW wind farm in Beruniy and Karauzyak districts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan. ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia) was announced the winner of the international tender with a tariff offer of 2.57 US cents per 1 kWh of generated electricity. When commissioned in 2023, the station will annually generate 350 million kWh of electricity per year and save 106 million cubic meters of natural gas per year.
As the analysis of project implementation shows, the plans provided for in the Wind Energy Development Concept are being implemented by the Ministry of Energy ahead of schedule. This makes it possible to increase the forecast for the development of wind power capacity and bring it to 5,000 MW by 2030. Most of the wind farms are planned to be built in the Republic of Karakalpakstan.
When implementing projects for wind power plants, measures are taken to ensure their safe integration into a single power system.
It is also important to note the fact that there is a rapid development of renewable energy technologies. In particular, the price of lithium-ion batteries, which are considered the most efficient energy storage devices, have dropped to internationally acceptable levels. International research centers predict that the cost of this type of battery will fall by an average of 30 percent over the next 5 years.
As a result, Uzbekistan will be able to manage and store energy from renewable energy sources and ensure the stability of the unified energy system.
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