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Wind Industry Profile of

Developers Focus: Uzbekistan

The markets for renewable energies have become highly competitive. The Europeans as first developers of the global energy transition have long since ceased to be the only ones acting worldwide. While the Chinese and Americans are scoring points mainly in their home markets, Europe is now increasingly facing competition from the Gulf region.

The mosque of Bibi Chanum in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Image: Pixabay)The mosque of Bibi Chanum in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (Image: Pixabay)

Renewable energies are on the rise in more and more countries around the world. Even the oil states in the Gulf region can no longer close their eyes to the need to rely on cheaper renewable energies due to constantly falling oil prices.

And such projects can be implemented excellently not only in their own countries, but also elsewhere - in Uzbekistan, for example. The Central Asian state with 33.2 million inhabitants has the ambition to develop up to 5 GW of solar energy and 3 GW of wind power by 2030 in order to raise the share of renewables to 25 percent of the total power mix, as REVE reports. The Uzbeks are supported by international partners such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank.

However, project developers from Europe have so far tended to concentrate on trend markets in Southeast Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam or Taiwan. So developers from countries in the Gulf region such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates now conquer markets that have hardly been in the spotlight up to now.

After German companies Geo-Net and Intec-Gopa presented a wind atlas for Uzbekistan in 2015, which sees the wind energy potential with an expansion capacity of 520 gigawatts, not much happened. According to estimates, the country could produce more than one billion megawatt hours of wind power per year.

Uzbekistan has great potential for wind energy (Image: Pixabay)

As reported by Forbes, the Uzbekistan government last year gave the final go-ahead for the expansion of renewables with a tender for a 100 MW solar project, to which as many as 23 companies applied. The winner was ultimately Masdar from the United Arab Emirates, which submitted a bid at 2.7 US cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). This compares hardly with prices in Europe where the cost of solar power is well below 2 cents and now also below those for coal and natural gas projects. But in Central Asia, too, these comparably high prices can already compete with those from fossil energy production.

Gulf region projact developers are also successful in wind power. At the beginning of March, ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia signed an agreement with the Uzbek Ministry of Energy on the development, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of wind power plants with a capacity of 500-1000 MW worth between 550 million and 1.1 billion dollars. Another agreement was reached on the construction of a gas-fired power plant and the training of workers to develop a domestic supply chain.

Anyway the potential in the Central Asian republic is far from exhausted. This is a good opportunity for European developers to address Uzbekistan as a future market.

Windfair Editors
Uzbekistan, developer, gulf region, Saudi Arabia, UEA, bank, solar, wind, auction, win, bid, investment, Europe, Asia, Central Asia

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