During the recent years, Kazakhstan has been positioning the renewable ener-gy sources (RES) as one of the energy complex vectors. this is evidenced by the increased attention paid to the process of their implementation by the government and a number of business structures. however, the formation of a stable complex of the renewable energy sources in Kazakhstan stipulates signifcant fnancial and technological investments with the direct involvement of the government, without which the renewable energy remains at virtual zero.
The Renewable Resources. Kazakhstan possesses suffciently large potential of renewable energy resources. For example, according to several studies, the gross hydro-potential of the Republic of Kazakhstan is roughly estimated at 170 billion kWh/year, technically possible to implement is 62 billion (economic - 29 billion, of them in use are 7.4 billion kWh/year). To date, the share of HES in the structure of generating capacities of Kazakhstan is only about 12.3%. This fgure is signifcant-ly lagging behind the developed countries. Moreover, 68% of the hydroelectric power generating facilities have worked for over 30 years. The implementation of several largest HES projects will bring certain progress in the next few years: Moinak HES with the installed capacity of 300 MW, Kerbulak HES of 49.5 MW, Bulak HES of 68.25 MW. Despite the considerable potential for the development of large HES, Kazakhstan may well learn from the development of mini-hydro power stations, which were partially tested in the Soviet period. It is indicative that the economic potential of small hydro-power stations is estimated to reach around 7.5 billion kWh/year. On the basis of studies, the potential is possible to realize of at least 480 projects on small hydropower stations with1.868 MW general introduction capacity (8510 GWh, average annual electricity generation capacity).
In turn, the wind energy potential in Ka-zakhstan is estimated to be from 0.929 to 1.82 billion kWh / year. Studies conducted in the framework of UNDP project on wind energy, show the presence of average annual wind speed at 6 m/s in some regions of Kazakhstan with a total area of 50 thousand square kilometers. This makes them attractive for wind power development. The most signifcant wind resources are in Zhungar corridor (17 thousand kWh / sq. m). It is notable that in March 2011 in Zham-byl region, Kazakhstan the implementation of major projects was launched, namely Zhanatasskiy (400 MW) and Shokparskiy (200 MW) wind energy systems (WES). The amount of investment in their construction will account approximately $1 billion. By 2014, the state-sponsored construction of the WES is assumed: in the Shelek corridor, the installed capacity of 51 MW, WES in the Zhungar gate (50 MW on the frst stage), WES in Ulan area, East Kazakhstan (24 MW) and a few others. Potentially possible development of solar energy is estimated at 2.5 billion kWh / year. Despite the fact that Kazakhstan is located in the northern latitudes, the potential of solar radiation on the territory of the Republic is quite signifcant (accounting for 1.3-1.8 MW / h per 1sq. m. / year, the number of sunny hours per year is 2.2 - 3 thousand). In addition, solar energy can be used not only to generate electricity but also heat, which stipulates the possibility of introducing the point solar installations, including areas remotely located from the main electricity and heat supply.
Commissioning of the solar installations is envisaged by 2015 with the total capacity of 91 MW, mainly in Almaty region. At the same time, Kazakhstan is taking practical measures aimed at creating a manufacturing base to produce silicon and photovoltaic cells required for solar energy development. It should be noted that the use of bio-fuels possesses a certain reserve. In particular, up to 35 billion kW / h of electricity and 44 million Gcal of thermal energy can be obtained annually through the processing of agricultural waste.
Current Trends. In fact, the necessity to lower negative impacts of energy on the environment is the key factor of RES in Kazakhstan, as well as worldwide. In particular, in 2009, the data of the Min-istry of Environmental Protection shows that emission of air pollutants composed 3.4 million tonnes, of which 85% are done by 43 large enterprises.
At the same time it is the share of energy that accounts for 87% of total national emissions of greenhouse gases, or 214.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Recall that currently up to 85% of total electricity in Kazakhstan is produced by burning of fossil fuels, mainly, local coal, and of hydrocarbons to a lesser extent. About 10% of the country's emissions from stationary sources and the formation of a signifcant portion of toxic waste account on the enterprises involved in production of crude oil and associated gas. The overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from energy enterprises when using renewable energy sources can be from 500 thousand tons to 2.5 million tonnes of CO2.
In addition to the environmental advantages, there are signifcant economic benefts. In particular, the use of renewable energy to generate and supply electricity to the existing energy networks may be cost-effective in energy-defcient regions of Kazakhstan. At the same time it is the renewable energy that can be the key factor in the develop-ment of remote regions. However, it is objective that the objects of re-newable energy are much less proftable and more capital-intensive than the traditional ones. The private business is quite sceptical about the use of renewable energy sources, including due to lack of awareness and lack of experience in their use. This requires a selective approach to their implementation, while attaches particular importance to public sector support.
Despite the measures taken at the national level, the renewable and alternative energy sources (excluding large hydro power sta-tions) are not developed in Kazakhstan. Until now, the Republic has not implemented a single major project in this area, despite several attempts of construction, in particu-lar, of wind power systems.
For example, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the RK, the share of alternative energy sources to total electricity generation in 2010 amounted to only 0.03%, according to the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the RK it is 0.46% (including small hydropower systems). According to the Kazakh Research Institute of Energy named after S. Chokin the operating power of the renewable energy sources are mainly presented by several mini-hydro power stations. This is dramatically lower than the level fxed by the development of renewable energy in the developed world. For comparison, even in Russia, which is among the world's outsiders on the use of the advanced renewable energy sources, their share is fxed at 1% of total electricity production, while the share of thermal energy produced at their base is reaching about 3%. Given the energy produced by large hydroelectric power stations, the share of renewable energy sources in the energy of Kazakhstan is about 12.3%.
State Support Priorities. Certain hopes may be associated with the adoption in the past few years of a number of legislative and industry programs aimed at supporting re-newable energy sources. Even now we can talk about an increasing investors interest, including foreign investors (primarily China and Germany), to the renewable energy sources projects in Ka-zakhstan, due to the adoption of the key provisions in the national legislation. Kazakhstan was the frst Central Asian country to develop a strategy for the transition to a low carbon economy, devoting to the renewable energy as well. For example, at the Climate Change Con-ference in Copenhagen in December 2009, under the Kyoto agreements Kazakhstan adopted a voluntary commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 2020 to 15%, by 2050 -to 25% compared to 1992 level. In particular, within the framework of the industrial program "Zhasyl Damu" in the years of 2010-14 it is provided for the reduction of emissions compared to 2009 by at least 5.9%. The Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan "On supporting the use of renewable energy sources", adopted in 2009 established the legal, economic and organizational basis for promoting the use of the renewable energy sources for electricity and thermal energy production and determined the measures of their support.
In particular, the law provides for the granting of investment preferences for RES projects, prioritizes the use of "clean" electricity on the market and its transmission over the networks, as well as support through the certifcation system which is controlled by the state.
In accordance with the Strategic Development Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2020, the share of the alternative energy sources in the total energy consumption should reach 1.5% by 2015 and more than 3% - by 2020 (compared to the EU - 20%, Russia - 4.5%). The priorities of the State Program for the Forced Industrial-Innovative Development of Kazakhstan in 2010-14 provide for the output volume of the electricity generated by renewable energy sources in 2014 at the level of 1 billion kWh / year. Recall that according to the Electrical Power Development Program in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2010-14, the electricity generation in 2014 will reach 97.9 billion kW / h at the forecast consumption of 96.8 billion kW / h. The total investment in the renew-able energy sources projects may exceed 107 billion KZT (over $720 million at the current exchange rates), including own funds of 21.4 billion KZT and loans of 85.6 billion KZT.