UZBEKISTAN: NEW STEPS TO GREEN ECONOMY
Accelerated industrialisation and population growth significantly increase the economy's demand for energy resources, as well as increase the negative anthropogenic impact on the environment. In 2018, Uzbekistan ratified the Paris Convention for the development of clean energy sources, making a quantitative commitment to reduce specific greenhouse gas emissions.
The active attraction of investments for decarbonisation through the introduction of alternative energy sources is in the first place among the projects implemented by the Government of the country. Thus, the Annex No. 1A to Presidential Decree No. PP-4937 dated December 28, 2020 defines forecasts and targets for 2021-2023 for the development and attraction of investments and loans in the energy sector. In the transition from hydrocarbon resources to renewable energy sources, the issue of the development of hydrogen energy also becomes relevant.
On April 9, the President of Uzbekistan signed the Decree PP-5063 “On measures for the development of renewable and hydrogen energy in Uzbekistan”.
The Decree is aimed at creating the infrastructure of the republic's hydrogen energy, improving the effectiveness of scientific and practical research in the fields of renewable and hydrogen energy, widespread introduction of innovative technologies in production, as well as ensuring the transition of the Republic of Uzbekistan to a “green” economy.
The Decree also approved a proposal to establish a National Research Institute of Renewable Energy Sources under the Ministry of Energy on the basis of the International Institute of Solar Energy of the Academy of Sciences. The Research Center for Hydrogen Energy and the Laboratory for testing and certification of renewable and hydrogen energy technologies will operate in the structure of the Institute. To implement this proposal, foreign working groups and international financial institutions will be involved to conduct a study.
To strengthen the material and technical base and expand the innovative research of the new institute at the international level, it is planned to attract investments and researchers from ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia), Air Products (USA) and others. In January, the Ministry of Energy of Uzbekistan and ACWA Power signed a framework agreement on the development of hydrogen energy. It implies the first steps of Uzbekistan in achieving its goal to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through scientific research in the field of hydrogen and renewable energy.
Among the main tasks and activities of the Institute are identified, such as the implementation of scientific and practical research and the development of innovative projects for the development of hydrogen energy and renewable energy sources, the analysis of current global trends in the development of these areas, the achievement of technological leadership in the region in the creation and implementation of know-how infrastructure in the field of hydrogen energy, and others. Thus, the state has the advantage of not involving international consultants for the implementation of certain tasks of the Ministry of Energy and national networks of Uzbekistan.
The organisation of an Interdepartmental commission for the development of renewable and hydrogen Energy was also entrusted. The main task of the commission is to develop by the end of this year a National strategy for the development of renewable and hydrogen energy and other regulatory legal acts, as well as the implementation of promising projects in these areas.
The recent Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers dated May 4, 2021 No. 273 “On the establishment of the Institute of Energy Problems of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan” decided to establish the Institute of Energy Problems of the Academy of Sciences on the basis of the Scientific and Technical Centre of JSC “Uzbekenergo”. This institution will be a legal entity in the form of a state institution.
The main tasks of the Institute are:
- participation in the development of strategies for sustainable energy development of the country, programs for the development and modernisation of the fuel and energy complex for the medium and long term;
- testing of new technologies, energy equipment and systems based on alternative energy in order to study resource efficiency in the climatic conditions of the republic;
- conducting comprehensive research and developing specific recommendations for reducing energy consumption in economic sectors;
- development of priorities for the development of the digital economy in the energy sector, development of the theory of “intelligent networks” and their implementation in the energy sector;
- conducting scientific research on ensuring the country's energy security, ensuring the sustainable operation of fuel and energy complex facilities in natural and man-made emergencies;
- development of scientifically based recommendations on the joint use of fuel and energy resources between neighbouring countries of the region and others.