Central Asia will need $20 billion of investment in solar, wind, hydro, and modernizing national and regional grids for improved trade and interconnectivity by 2030, according to the preliminary estimates announced at the Central Asia Energy Trade and Investment Forum 2023 in London on March 2-3, World Bank’s press service reported.
A two-day forum discussed ways to attract investors and reduce overall energy costs, emphasizing the need for each country to accelerate the reform process for broader use of renewables and greater investor trust in the electricity trade.
“With the right enabling environment in place, Central Asia can mobilize significant financing for its energy sector to make it a green growth engine,” said Charles Cormier, World Bank’s Infrastructure Director for Europe and Central Asia.
Experts said the countries should enhance governance and transparency of the energy sector, ensure financial viability while maintaining affordability for vulnerable groups, scale up regional trade, and have the least cost and efficient development of energy systems to achieve the goals.
The countries in the region are aware of the need to boost cooperation, and some have embarked on implementing the needed reforms.
“Creating a regional electricity market that draws on a diverse energy mix shall facilitate supply, support decarbonization, boost domestic and regional green growth and create productive jobs in Central Asia so that it can achieve its upper middle-income status in the medium term,” said Tatiana Proskuryakova, the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia.
The forum aimed to elaborate more efficient mechanisms for regional electricity trading and identify coordinated actions to improve regional cooperation and activities to transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
The participants also discussed the challenges of energy security, decarbonization, and economic growth.
Policymakers from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, representatives of international financial institutions, and the private sector attended the event.
The forum was supported by the Central Asia Water and Energy Program (CAWEP), a partnership between the World Bank, the European Union, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (UK).
Source : Astanatimes