By Anton Usov
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Kazakhstan have agreed to develop a long-term cooperation strategy to achieve carbon neutrality of the country’s power sector by 2060. The accord will further cement Kazakhstan’s status as a regional renewable energy leader in Central Asia.
The roadmap for the decarbonisation strategy was signed by Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy Nurlan Nogayev and by EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso during her first visit to Central Asia’s largest state.
The EBRD and Kazakhstan will cooperate, among other things, on the development of renewable energy and the carbon market, the enhancement of the electrical grid and the decommissioning of old thermal capacity. The Bank is committed to financing renewable energy projects implemented through an auction mechanism in order to promote competitive pricing and to stimulate investment in renewable energy.
The EBRD President said: “We are pleased to help Kazakhstan develop its energy sector in line with the global decarbonisation agenda. Our partnership in the area of sustainable energy began over a decade ago and, based on the country’s achievements to date, Kazakhstan is right on track to achieve the new ambitious target of carbon neutrality.”
Kazakhstan’s Minister of Energy added: “Longstanding cooperation with the EBRD is helping us achieve our development goals in the energy sector. Jointly, we search for innovative solutions to enable the sector’s sustainable development and this is an important foundation for our present and future work. Today’s memorandum will shape our cooperation for years to come.”
The EBRD remains a committed supporter of the country’s renewable energy drive, with 14 projects worth US$535 million financed to date. In 2020 alone, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the economy, the EBRD allocated US$53 million to supporting the construction of a 100 MW wind farm near the city of Zhanatas and a 76 MW solar power plant in the Karaganda region.
To date, the EBRD has invested more than €8.13 billion(US$9.54billion) in the economy of Kazakhstan through 280 projects. Support for small businesses is particularly important and is in line with the EBRD’s country strategy for Kazakhstan.