Fundamentals for solar power in Kazakhstan
STRONG STABLE COUNTRY
- Presidential Republic
- Population 18 million
- 9th largest country in world
- Area 2.7 million km2
- Huge natural resources
- Strong political stability
- Favourable investment climate
- Russian and Kazakh languages
- Strong growth to a mature economy
- $ 212 billion GDP ($13 000 per capita)
- Moody’s Baa2 / Fitch BBB+ / S&P BBB
- Inflation stabilizing around 7-9%
- Interest rates around 5.5% (repo rate)
- Currency: Kazakhstan Tenge (KZT)
- FX: 1 USD = 340 KZT and 1 EUR = 390 KZT
- Energy consumption: circa 100 TWh
GOOD SOLAR CLIMATE AND POSITIVE DYNAMIC FOR RENEWABLES
|Irradiation||→||2200-3000 hours of sunlight per year, equivalent to 1300-1800 kWh/m².
Combination of good irradiation levels and cold winds optimize PV panel performance.
|→||Energy currently focused on conventional fuels: Coal (75%) Gas (12%) and Hydro (13%).
Electricity production concentrated in the North. Demand mostly in the South where import is necesssary.
High losses in transmission of power from North to South (circa 30%). Our Kulan plant is in the South.
Energy demand to grow 50% by 2030. Investment need to upgrade old plants and build new capacity.
|→||Strong political commitment to Renewable Energy (RE). Kyoto Protocol in 2009.
Objective of 50% of Renewable energy by 2050. Concrete target of 3% by 2020 (3 GW).
Specific government support for 28 initial solar projects (700 MW) including our Kulan project.
Strong political promotion of RE.
|→||Specific legal framework for RE implemented during 2009-2016.
•Priority of dispatch for RE, Exemption from balancing responsibility.
•15-year Feed-in tariff indexed at CPI, unified off-taker, subsidiary of national grid operator KEGOC.
Kazakhstan’s insolation is excellent for solar power.
Between 2200 and 3000 hours of sunlight per year, equivalent to 1300-1800 kWh/m²
Electricity is generated mainly in the North and transmission to the South is very inefficient.
Transmission losses are estimated at 15-30%.
FRAMEWORK FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY
Kazakhstan introduced its first law “in support of renewable energies” in 2009. Real momentum from 2013 with the Government Resolution “Action Plan for the Development of Alternative and Renewable Energy in Kazakhstan 2013-2020” tasking renewables to reach 3% of electricity generation in 2020, 30% in 2030 and 50% in 2050. Dedicated legal framework for renewables implemented between 2013 and 2016.
- New law “in support of renewable energies” as of July 2013 with several decrees through 2016:
- Feed-in-tariffs (“FIT”) for RE: 15 year duration – annual escalation based on CPI index.
- Maximum tariff from which auctions will start 34.61 KZT/kWh for Solar plants.
- Mandatory connection of RE facilities to transmission or distribution networks
- Priority and mandatory dispatch for electricity generated by renewable energy facilities,
and exemption from balancing responsibility.
- Mandatory off-take of electricity by the Renewable Energy Financial Settlement Centre (REFSC),
a subsidiary of the National Grid Operator “KEGOC”.
- No licensing requirement for energy generation.
- The concept of the reserve fund of the REFSC introduced into the RES Law in April 2016 shall raise the creditworthiness of REFSC.
- The Kazakhstan capital Astana hosts the World’s Fair in 2017. This high-profile EXPO 2017 has adopted
“Future Energy” as its theme and promotes the development of a sustainable green economy and smart cities.
In accordance with article 283 of the Commercial Code, local companies (i.e. it can be existing Kazakh company) that operate in eligible areas (including RES) are entitled to the following benefits (on the basis of the so-called investment contract):
- An exemption from customs duties on imported equipment and components, and raw materials required for investment projects (the exemption can be granted for up to five years) and an exemption from VAT for import from January 2017;
- State in-kind grants (land plots, buildings, equipment, machinery, etc.), which are granted for gratuitous use for the duration of the contract.