Green Economy in Kazakhstan

From Kazakhstan Encyclopedia

Kazakhstan begun to take steps the steps to transition to a green economy.

Kazakhstan has set the goal that its transition into the green economy will increase GDP by 3%, and create more than 500 thousand new jobs.[1]

Kazakhstan’s green economy concept policy, adopted in 2013, aims to diversify the economy through careful use of natural resources. The project began in 2015 and is expected to continue through 2018.[2]

In June 2014, the Kazakh government set tariffs for energy produced by renewables in a bid to get three percent of electricity from cleaner sources by 2020.[3] Kazakhstan plans to spend an average $3.2 billion a year along with investors to achieve its green goals by 2050 and cut carbon emissions by 40 percent in 2050 from 2012 levels.[3]

The Kazakh Ministry of Energy together with the Development Programme (UNDP) launched a joint program tackling country's electronic waste problem.[4] The project aims at helping to improve the efficiency of services for collection, transportation, use, and disposal of this type of waste.[4] Also, in order to reduce carbon emissions, Kazakhstan and the UNDP implement a project named "Sustainable Cities for Low Carbon Development." The program covers 15 cities of Kazakhstan.[5]

In April 2016, the President of Kazakhstan signed the law “On introducing amendments and addenda to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on the transition to green economy.” The amendments seek to improve legislation related to ecology and renewable energy.[6]

Kazakhstan actively attracts foreign investments to finance and develop green project in the country. For example, in late 2016 the European Investment Bank (EIB) signed two financing contracts for EUR 150 million and EUR 50 million that will help to implement the “Concept for the Transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to a Green Economy.”[7]

Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy

As part of President Nazarbayev’s broad Kazakhstan 2050 Strategy initiative, which is designed to modernize and diversify the nation’s carbon-reliant economy, renewable and alternative energy sources will provide 50 percent of all electricity produced in Kazakhstan by 2050, according to a Decree signed by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev on May 30, 2013.[8]

One of the priority directions of the development of a green economy is the development of renewable energy sources. According to the concept, the country targets to achieve a three per cent share of renewable energy in total electricity by 2020.[9]

Kazakhstan has indicated it will use one third of its wastes to generate 'green' energy by 2050.[10]

In 2013 two wind power plants were put into operation in North Kazakhstan.[11] In 2014 Zhambyl region (South Kazakhstan) will have two wind power stations.[12] KazAgroFinance has adopted a program on financing of renewable energy production in the remote villages of Kazakhstan[13] In 2013 Kazakhstan adopted legislation establishing feed-in tariffs for renewables, which will be in place for 15 years in order to encourage investment in the sector[14] In January 2014 BISOL Group completed the installation of a 2 megawatt ground mounted solar power plant in the city of Kapchagay in the Almaty Province, the largest photovoltaic system in the country so far.[15]


Kazakhstan takes measures to develop a comprehensive legal framework for the country's transition to a green economy. President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed the law “On introducing amendments and addenda to some legislative acts of Kazakhstan on the transition to green economy” in April 2016.[16] In July 2016 the law came into force. Its main areas of application include waste, electric power industry and water resources.[17]

Green Bridge Partnership Programme 2011-2020

Kazakhstan created a multilateral, cross-sectoral and voluntary Partnership Programme "Green Bridge" to provide a stable and long-term basis for green investment, transfer of new technologies and innovations to create sustainable economies and create new and long-term green jobs.[18] In 2012 the Green Bridge Partnership Programme (GBPP) was endorsed by the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Brazil.[19]

On November 20, 2013, Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov met with heads of the European Union urging the EU to become a member of the Green Bridge Partnership. If the EU joined, it would help spark innovation in green technology and with water conservation like the Aral Sea.[20] As of November 2015, the GBPP Charter was signed by 14 countries and 12 NGOs.[19]

Astana Expo 2017

Kazakhstan will host the 2017 World's Fair. The Astana EXPO 2017 has the theme Future Energy and its framework will support Astana's development of a sustainable green economy.

International Support & Investment

The EU, UNDP and UNECE launched a joint project "Supporting Kazakhstan’s transition to a green economy model”.[21] The project is supported by the EU with 7,1 million Euros budget and is targeted to bring water governance in Kazakhstan align with the Green Economy Strategy of the country.[21]

Green housing in Astana

On November 18, 2014 the Chairman of the Board of the Samruk Kazyna Real Estate Fund Bolat Palymbetov announced at a Central Communications Service (CCS) press briefing that the construction of a residential area using green technologies had begun in Astana.[22] The Green Quarter is a residential and office complex that incorporates advanced technologies.[22] The architectural concept of a green quarter was developed by British company AEDAS, one of the world’s largest architectural firms.[22] An advanced system aimed at reducing water and energy consumption by 20 percent to be installed at the facilities.[22] According to preliminary estimates, the project will cost 44 billion tenge ($US240 million).[22]

"We can now say with confidence that the Green Quarter will be yet another jewel of the city visible at the opening of EXPO 2017,” Palymbetov said.[22]

European Bank of Reconstruction and Development

Kazakhstan was the first EBRD country to sign up for the EBRD Sustainable Energy Action Plan. The EBRD has invested over US$650 million in energy efficiency projects in Kazakhstan in corporate energy efficiency, credit lines to partner banks for on-lending to the private sector, cleaner energy production, renewable energy, and municipal infrastructure energy efficiency.Energy savings from projects financed by the EBRD so far amount to about 10 per cent of the country’s use of electricity. As a result of these projects, Kazakhstan reduced its greenhouse gas emissions reductions amount by 3,885 kilotonnes per year.[23]

The East Kazakhstan region and EBRD partner in financing two energy-saving projects in the region. The funding goes to the replacement of street lighting with energy-saving bulbs. The implementation of the project is expected to let the region save its spending on lighting by 60%.[24]

Renewable Energy Development

Kazakhstan plans to commission 106 facilities generating energy from renewable energy sources by late 2020.[25] Kazakhstan will commission 28 solar power plants with the capacity of 713.5 megawatts in Almaty, Zhambyl, Atyrau, Karaganda, Kyzylorda, South Kazakhstan and Mangistau provinces.[25] Energy from renewable sources increased by 32 percent year over year in 2017.[26]

By mid-2016 the installed capacity of renewable energy facilities in Kazakhstan increased by 1.4 times compared to the same period of 2015 totaling 251.55 megawatts.[27]

According to the Ministry of Energy, Kazakhstan created a regulatory framework and technical instruments allowing the country to integrate renewable energy sources into the national energy mix until 2020. As of September 2016, Kazakhstan already had 48 operating renewable energy facilities with a total capacity of 252.37 MW (hydroelectric power plants - 122.99 MW; wind power plants - 71.87 MW; solar power plants - 57.16 MW; biogas units - 0.35 MW).[28]

Water use

In 2013, Kazakhstan adopted Green Economy Concept policy that sets effective water management as a priority in the transition to a green economy. The concept led to the joint project, “Supporting Kazakhstan’s Transition to a Green Economy Model”, developed by Kazakhstan in close cooperation with the UN and EU. The project aims to introduce new, effective ways of water infrastructure management, economic instruments of water supply and sanitation, and sustainable agriculture practices.[29]

International organizations

Kazakhstan's Ministry of Energy and the World Bank launched in January 2017 a new project aimed at designing and developing Kazakhstan’s greenhouse gases (GHG) electronic reporting platform. The electronic platform (or “cadaster”) will enable the online submission of GHG data by Kazakhstan’s major emitters. The project is expected to help create an accurate and reliable GHG database.[30]

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