Electricity trade will enable the Central Asian countries to restore economic growth and develop regional cooperation in the post-pandemic period, Orient news outlet reported on Tuesday citing UzDaily.uz.
New power system modelling analysis for Central Asia shows that the region can reduce operating expenses by as much as $6.4 billion in the next 10 years. Progress in development of both CASA-1000 and TUTAP cross-regional power interconnection projects connecting Central and South Asian countries will increase opportunities of electricity trade between the regions.
This can become a reality when neighboring system operators leverage connected electricity transmission infrastructure. Discussions are underway to make connections and derive optimal value from coordinated system operation, according to the article.
Countries in Central Asia enjoyed remarkable economic growth during the last decade with a GDP growth across the region averaging around 5%. The region has however faced cyclical slow-down in growth rates in periods when oil and natural gas prices and remittances declined, and also during the current crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The region needs new drivers of economic growth to sustain growth during the post-pandemic recovery. One of these areas is the electricity power system.
Central Asian countries are endowed with significant energy-related natural resources with Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic having large potential of hydropower generation while Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have large reserves of coal, gas, and oil. The region also has substantial untapped solar and wind potential. The development of these resources could be a part of country led programs on clean energy development and transition, according to the article.
Orient adds that Turkmenistan not only possesses large reserves of oil and gas, but is also one of the largest electricity producers in the region. The country has built a network of power plants with high-performance gas turbines produced by the U.S.-based General Electric.