May 4, 2020 / 11:59 AM / in 23 days

Uzbekistan to double power generating capacity, go heavy on renewables

TASHKENT (Reuters) - Uzbekistan plans to more than double its power generating capacity over the next 10 years, with half of new capacity coming from solar plants and wind farms, the Central Asian nation’s government said on Monday.

The former Soviet republic of 34 million aims to increase its capacity to 29.3 gigawatts (GW) from the current 12.9 GW, and rely less on natural gas, which dominates its power mix at present, it said in a strategic plan.

Out of the added capacity, 5 GW is set to come from solar power plants and 3 GW from wind farms, the government said. Renewables will thus account for more than a quarter of the country’s capacity by 2030.

Uzbekistan has already launched a handful of projects, including with Saudi Arabia’s Acwa Power and United Arab Emirates’ Masdar, for the construction of solar and wind facilities with long-term power purchase agreements.

It is also working with Russia’s Rosatom to build a nuclear power plant. Uzbekistan has large natural gas reserves, but aims to reduce its consumption in the power sector from 16.5 billion cubic metres to 12.1 billion cubic metres by 2030.

Reporting by Mukhammadsharif Mamatkulov; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Giles Elgood

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