Kazakhstan unveils web-based solar atlas

The Kazakh government has announced the launch of Solar Resources Atlas – atlassolar.kz, a new online application for the mapping of Kazakhstan solar energy potential.

The web-based resource contains open data of space distribution of Kazakhstan’s solar resources, which reflect the constantly updated international climatic bases, UNDP said in its press release. The application also provides users with tools to analyze and estimate managerial decisions on the installation of a PV system.

The atlas was created by local company Sapa Pro&Tech under the project of Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Energy and UNDP “Providing Assistance to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Implement the Green Economy Transition Concept of Republic of Kazakhstan and Institutionalize the Green Bridge Partnership Programme”.

Kazakhstan has seen very limited development of solar energy and other renewables to date. In late 2016, however, Kazakh Minister of Energy Kanat Bozumbayev said he was planning to introduce an auction scheme for renewable energy, after several failed attempts at introducing a FIT program made by the country’s government over the previous years.

In December of last year, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) approved a financing framework of up to €200 million ($227.4 million) to boost development of renewable energies in Kazakhstan. “This will be used,” said EBRD in a press release, “to finance primarily private renewable energy projects with a total generating capacity of 300 MW within the next five years. Such projects can be in wind or solar power, small hydro plants or biogas. The construction of generating capacity will be allocated €160 million, while €40 million will be allotted to electricity grid modernisation, which is necessary in order to integrate these renewable projects into the national transmission system.”

In August 2016, the EBRD released financing of $26 million to Indian solar developer ACME Cleantech Solutions for the development of a 29 MW solar PV plant in Kazakhstan. The proposed Kulan solar power plant is to be located in Kazakhstan’’s Zhambyl region, in the south of the country.