(MENAFN - Trend News Agency ) Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 5
By Nigar Guliyeva – Trend:
Tashkent hosts a workshop on renewable energy (RE) policy development jointly organized by the Government of Uzbekistan and the World Bank Group (WBG) in partnership with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The two day event is attended by around 80 representatives of ministries and state agencies, state energy companies, international organizations, expert and academic circles concerned.
The event is aimed at supporting the Government's efforts in introduction of RE in the country through discussion of best practices in development of RE strategy, policy, regulations, institutional measures, modern technologies, and project preparation and implementation adopted around the world, including cases of the Latin American, African and South Asian states. The event also contributes to discussion on development of RE roadmap in Uzbekistan to assist the Government in implementation of the Action Program on Renewable Energy Development for 2017-2021 adopted in May 2017, and also to promote private sector investments in renewable energy development.
'Why RE development is important for Uzbekistan? Firstly, it will ensure the country's energy security, by helping diversify the energy mix and improve the long-term reliability of supply. Secondly, it is more economically efficient as it reduces the use of natural gas and coal for power production, which have a high opportunity cost. Thirdly, introduction of RE also represents new business opportunities as it creates an industry with new jobs. Fourthly, there are environmental and health benefits related to RE as it reduces fossil fuel combustion detrimental for environment and human health. Last but not least, it would help the country's commitment to address the climate change challenges', says Sameer Shukla, Practice Manager of World Bank's Energy and Extractives Global Practice.
The Government has identified introduction of RE among other priorities under the Strategy of Actions on the Five Priority Areas of Development of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021. The World Bank Group supports the efforts of the Government to increase renewables' share in power production from 12.7% in 2016 to 19.7% by 2025. For example, in 2015 development of a Wind Atlas of Uzbekistan and pre-feasibility studies for wind project sites were supported under a World Bank-financed project. The Atlas proves that the country possesses significant wind resources that are suitable for development of commercially feasible large-scale wind power farms in selected regions of the country.
In Uzbekistan, the World Bank currently supports the implementation of 16 projects, which are worth of around US$2 billion. Those projects cover such priority areas as agriculture and water resources management, energy, transport, healthcare, education, urban development, water supply and sanitation.
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