The 2017 International Ashden Award for Increasing Energy Access will be handed out to Pamir Energy, the first public-private partnership in Tajikistan, for restoring 11 small hydro power plants and upgrading 4,300 km of old transmission and distribution facilities in eastern Tajikistan.
As a result, some 200,000 locals, i.e. 96% of households, are now supplied with 24-hour clean energy, while their average household energy cost are cut from around $98 to $15 per calendar month.
Moreover, since 2008, hydro power from this area has been provided to northern Afghan communities of some 35,000 people, bringing a massive change in their lives, as some of them now have access to electricity for the very first time.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the area of Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshan (VMKB), where Pamir Energy operates, is not connected to the main Tajik national grid, and 15 years ago only 13% of households in the region had a stable energy supply.
To address these issues, in 2002, the Government of Tajikistan, the International Finance Corporation and the Aga Khan Development Network established Pamir Energy, Tajikistan’s first public private partnership, tasked with supplying power to the whole of VMKB until 2027.
“The Government of Tajikistan is proud to receive this prestigious award, which recognizes the efforts that have been made to provide a clean, reliable and affordable energy service to mountainous communities in VMKB. Partnering with the Aga Khan Development Network, the International Finance Corporation and with other development partners such as SECO, KfW, the Patrip Foundation, the Norwegian Government and USAID has allowed us to leverage a variety of different skills and strengths to help make this utility a successful one that is supporting the socio-economic development of the VMKB, Tajikistan as well as helping strengthen ties with our neighbors in Afghanistan,” said Usmonali Usmonzoda, Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan.
The company plans to reach thousands more people in Afghanistan in the coming years, and to expand its operations to northern Pakistan by 2025.