Uzbekistan targets micro hydropower to boost energy supply

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During a meeting to discuss improving energy supply in the country and plans for the hydropower industry, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said 50 prospective sites to build new micro hydropower have been selected.

The specific capacity the government considers to be “micro hydropower” was not disclosed.

The president said all types of energy are being used to develop the country’s system, with new solar, wind and hydroelectric stations being built in addition to expanding existing capacities.

In the hydropower sector over the past few years, 27 projects worth $500 million have been implemented, adding capacity of 260MW. The cumulative capacity of stations in the Uzbekhydroenergo system has exceeded 2,000MW.

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This year, seven hydro plants and 10 micro hydroelectric plants with total capacity of 197MW are scheduled to be commissioned. In addition, work to implement eight prospective projects and construct 50 micro hydroelectric plants with capacity of 438MW are set to commence.

The president pointed out the high potential of the hydropower sector and instructed to substantially increase its capacities. To this end, 250 prospective sites for the construction of micro hydropower plants have been selected. According to calculations, new micro hydroelectric power stations will be able to generate 675 million kWh of electricity and save 200 million cubic meters of gas per year.

Due to attractive prices of electricity produced by micro hydropower projects, the interest of businessmen has increased. In this regard, the president mentioned the possibility of selling solar and wind energy at attractive prices. The task has been set to build hybrid plants (wind- and solar-powered plants) on free sites around hydroelectric power plants. Due to the availability of ready infrastructure, the cost of construction of such plants will be low.

The president also touched on the issue of localization in the industry. It has been instructed to establish production of equipment for micro hydropower as well as hydroelectric units by JSC Suvsanoatmash in the Tashkent region.

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