Kyrgyzstan is working on a concept to develop small hydro energy

Feb 17, 2015

Map of hydrpower plants of Kyrgyzstan

Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – On February 17, 2015 Bishkek hosted the first national discussion on "Challenges and ways of development of small hydropower in the Kyrgyz Republic". More than 100 participants from different fields discussed the current situation in the area, investment climate and learned about the new concept of developing small hydropower in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2015-2017.

The main goal of the meeting which was chaired by the Vice-Prime Minister Valery Dil is to develop partnership between stakeholders interested in small hydropower in Kyrgyzstan. Representatives of local and foreign companies from South Korea, China and Turkey interested in investments in this area, Government and non-government organizations attended the meeting.

According to Deputy Prime Minister, Kyrgyzstan should commission new generating capacities as soon as possible. "Small hydropower would allow to make a breakthrough in this area. But it needs a small investment that will allow quick returns on investment" said Valery Dil.

Participants looked at different issues in this area including investment climate in Kyrgyzstan and international experience in the development of small hydropower plants (example of Turkey), main challenges and ways of development. They also reviewed a draft "Concept of development of small hydropower in the Kyrgyz Republic for 2015-2017" which outline a framework of small hydropower development.

This meeting convened due to power shortages the country is experiencing, which led to imports of electricity from a neighboring country.

Analysis show that a number of barriers hampers investing in this sector:

  • lack of government guarantees for returns of investment, both local and foreign investments and constantly "jumping" exchange rates;
  • lack of strict rules in the legislation of the Kyrgyz Republic on land allocation and reliability of the use of water, land and excessive bureaucracy in land acquisition;
  • ack of strategic and long-term vision of local authorities on informing the public about feasibility and advantages of small hydropower plants in local areas;
  • lack of guarantees from distribution companies on timely payment for electricity, etc.

According to the State-Secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry Batyrkul Baetov the ministry developed a programme to increase the share of electricity generated by small hydropower plants up to 5 percent of the total by 2025. "We have 242 rivers. Given the projections that by 2030 glaciers will diminish, the role of small and medium energy will grow many times" concluded Batyrkul Baetov.

Participants of the meeting provided their recommendations to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic as well as to relevant ministries and agencies. They also identified main tasks to implement the action plan for development of small hydropower.

The Meeting was organized by the Government and the Ministry of Energy and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic with the support of “Small Hydropower Development” project implemented by UNDP and financed by GEF.

Contact information

Elena Rodina, UNDP/GEF Small Hydropower Development Project Coordinator, tel.: + 996-312-694380 (ext. 169); mob.: +996-550-511846; elena.rodina@undp.org

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