Expert: Central Asia needs common energy system


February 12, 2010, V.Zhavoronkova



An interconnection of energy systems is necessary in the Central Asian region, Tajik expert on water and energy problems in Central Asia Anvar Kamolidinov said.


Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are considering combining their energy systems, Kazakh Ambassador to Tajikistan Abutalip Akhmetov said at the news conference in Dushanbe.


He expressed hope that the idleness of the United Energy System (UES) of Central Asia is a temporary phenomenon.


The ambassador said presently the energy ministries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are negotiating the construction of power lines from the Kyrgyz Osh city to the Takjik Khujand city, which will combine the power of the three countries in the future.


The expert believes this is a positive and necessary step. The reason for this is that all former Soviet Union countries have basic industries, such as gas, oil, agriculture, he said.


"Tajikistan is a country of mountains, and the bare rocks and glaciers cover more than 75 percent of the territory. This territory does not bring benefit to the Tajiks," Central Asia Intergovernmental Coordinated Water Supply Commission Scientific Informational Center Tajik Branch Senior Research Fellow Kamoliddinov wrote Trend News in an e-mail.


According to Kamoliddinov, it is necessary to create a common power grid with neighboring countries to stabilize the electricity situation in the country. This it is important for Tajikistan to develop hydropower, he said.


Tajik energy periodically experiences crises.


"The critical period for Tajikistan's power industry comes in winter months," he said. "This winter, the situation has been improved somewhat thanks to a sufficient accumulation of water in the reservoir Nurek HPS, commission of Sangtuda-1 HPS and introduction of the energy-saving lamps by the government."


However, the country's energy problem must be resolved.


"The country needs to build Rogun HPS and several HPS on the most favorable cross-sections of the mountain rivers to achieve sustainable year-round supply," the expert believes.  He said the country has no other alternative sources of energy such as gas or solar power. The cost of electricity will be much more expensive than hydroelectricity, he said. "Moreover, the gas is proposed by Uzbekistan at European prices and is not affordable," he added.


"Only the development of the country's hydropower potential estimated at 527 billion kilowatt hours per year stands," he said. "Tajikistan needs only 25-35 billion kilowatt hours per year for sustainable development."