Thursday, November 28, 2013

Uzbekistan gets US$100 million ADB loan for first solar power plant

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Uzbekistan to build a 100MW solar project, the country's first utility-scale solar power plant.

Uzbekistan is to be the first Central Asian country to build a solar power plant in a bid to develop clean energy in the region. 

The installation will be built by the state energy company Uzbekenergo across 400 hectares in the Samarkand region at an estimated cost of over US $300 million.

With 320 days of sunshine per year, Uzbekistan's geography and climate conditions are highly favourable for solar power.

In 2012, the country and ADB opened an international solar energy research facility in Tashkent which the Central Asian country hopes will eventually enable it to become a solar technology exporter. Uzbekistan is aiming to be the region's solar energy hub and leader in solar technology.

ADB will lend US$110 million from its Asian development fund to the ‘Samarkand Solar Power Project’. A further US$200 million of funding is to come from Uzbekistan’s Fund for Reconstruction and Development, and Uzbekenergo, the governing body for supplying electricity in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekenergo, which is responsible for half of central Asia’s energy generation capacity, will manage the solar project and other related facilities. The Samarkand project will take five years to develop and construct, with a completion date of 2019. The project is will be used to promote large-scale solar power in the country. It will also diversify Uzbekistan’s energy mix which is currently heavily reliant on fossil fuels and will aid Uzbekistan’s government target of 21% renewable energy generation by 2031.


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