Abu Dhabi workshop gathers Central Asia regional stakeholders to explore strategies for seizing its vast renewable energy potential
Covering an area of over 4 million square kilometers and sitting at the crossroads of East, South, and West Asia, the countries of Central Asia have for millennia been at the centre of the exchange of ideas, people, and technology. And today, the region’s countries are sharing and collaborating to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.
At a Regional Workshop on Renewable Energy in Central Asia, organized by IRENA from 27 to 28 April 2017 at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, UAE, officials from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan sought to strengthen collaboration in accelerating the region’s renewable energy development.
The workshop gathered representatives from governments, utilities, regulatory authorities, and other regional energy stakeholders — including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, the United States Agency for International Development, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, the US’ National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the World Bank, and the Global Green Growth Institute — to share best practices for renewable energy deployment and solidify partnerships for future action in the region.
“Central Asian countries possess great renewable energy potential and over the past few years have increasingly been involved in renewable energy dialogue,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at the opening of the workshop. “But while the region is taking positive steps to attract renewable energy investments, additional efforts are still needed to ensure a successful energy transition.”
“By strengthening enabling policies and regulatory frameworks, and raising awareness about the benefits of renewable energy deployment, Central Asian governments can accelerate the development of renewable energy in their countries. IRENA stands ready to assist its Central Asian Members and support them in their energy transition,” the Director-General added.
Addressing the participants in his keynote speech, H.E. Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, United Arab Emirates Minister of Climate Change and Environment said, “Central Asia is a fast growing region with great renewable energy potential. This workshop is an important and valuable step for regional cooperation and the development of renewable energy.”
Way forward: Regional Action Plan
The workshop’s participants shared their views on various policy, regulatory, technical and financial aspects of renewable energy deployment, including, renewables target setting, support schemes, resource assessments, the socio-economic benefits, and grid integration of renewable energy deployment in Central Asia, and discussed the initial findings of IRENA’s regional gap analysis study. The study aims to identify and analyse the obstacles that hinder the acceleration of renewable energy deployment in Central Asia.
By taking into account the outcomes of the workshop, IRENA will finalise the regional gap analysis, which will constitute a basis for the creation of — in coordination with Central Asian governments and interested regional stakeholders — a customised regional Action Plan for the further development of renewable energy.
The draft Action Plan will be validated by the region and presented at the Energy Ministerial Conference ‘Meeting the Challenge of Sustainable Energy’ within the Ministerial Dialogue on Renewable Energy in Central Asia at EXPO Astana 2017. During the exposition, held in the Kazakh capital, a Communique on the Action Plan is envisaged to be released.