Countries pledge to further boost renewables through regional collaboration with IRENA
Central Asian countries have committed to scaling up renewable energy deployment and to further collaborate with IRENA to meet their targets under the Paris Agreement. Building on a meeting held in April in Abu Dhabi, a newly released Communiqué from the five Central Asian countries highlights ongoing efforts across the region to create more conducive policy, regulatory, institutional and financing frameworks for renewable energy investments.
“Covering over four million square kilometres, the countries of Central Asia are endowed with rich renewable energy sources that can drive sustainable economic development and growth,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “With renewable energy targets in place for 2020 and beyond, the region can now seize this transformative opportunity for a sustainable energy future, and the IRENA Regional Action Plan will help boost efforts at renewable energy uptake.”
Released during the Energy Ministerial meeting at Astana Expo 2017, the Astana Communiqué on Accelerating the Uptake of Renewables in Central Asia establishes six key areas to facilitate increased renewable energy deployment in the region.
Hydropower already contributes a significant proportion of Central Asia’s energy mix, but the region holds vast potential for biomass, wind and solar energy. Taking advantage of the sharp cost reductions and improved cost-competitiveness of these technologies, the region hopes to harness its potential to provide clean, indigenous, cost-effective and sustainable energy supply from renewable sources.
Countries confirmed their readiness to take additional steps and address key challenges to enable increased renewable energy uptake.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and others have said IRENA can play a valuable role to help meet regional goals.
IRENA will provide support to Central Asia in several key areas:
- Resource Assessments: ensuring detailed and up-to-date information on the renewable energy potential available in each country, supporting the planning process for the expansion of power generation and transmission.
- Integration of Variable Renewable Energy into Power Grids: improving understanding of technical and regulatory aspects, including design, operation and planning; and facilitating the planning, construction and operation of power grids with substantial shares of variable renewables.
- Policies and Regulations for Renewable Energy Deployment: strengthening enabling frameworks for renewables, including support schemes to facilitate investments, and ensuring decision-making based on reliable data.
- Renewable Energy Statistics and Data Collection: helping to advance the collection of data for renewables and harmonising it with international standards, as well as making the resulting information freely accessible through publications or online resources.
- Project Development Support: supporting the private sector’s involvement in renewable energy development in the region, through a range of actions, including improving the bankability of renewable energy projects, demonstrating best practices, and encouraging enhanced regional dialogue on renewable energy finance and risk mitigation.
- Awareness Raising: advancing understanding among decision makers and the public about cost-competitiveness and related macro-economic and socio-economic benefits of renewables, along with facilitating a regional dialogue to help improve the perception and visibility of renewable energy in Central Asia and beyond.