Uzbekistan’s nascent renewable energy that seems to be gaining momentum, is being driven by Gulf energy companies. Energy firms based in Saudi Arabia and UAE are picking up the first slew of solar projects to be established in Uzbekistan.
Central Asia’s Clean Energy Goals
The Central Asian Government has set out on a mission to augment its renewable energy industry. To achieve this target, it is looking at establishing 5 GW of solar power and 3 GW of wind power by year 2030. FIIs such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) are aiding in this mission.
Of late, Uzbekistan has seen the launch of several initiatives by the government in the renewable space. In 2021, for instance, in a major step, the government launched a plan for a 100 MW plant in the Navoiy region. TWith this plant, Uzbekistan marked its debut in a tendered solar project.
UAE, Saudi Arabia Based Energy Firms at the Forefront in Uzbek’s Energy Vision
UAE based clean energy firm, Masdar emerged as the winner for the tender for Uzbekistan’s solar project aforementioned.
In another such development, ACWA Power, based out of Saudi Arabia also entered into an agreement with Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Energy aimed at developing, financing, constructing along with the O&M of wind power plants with capacity of 500-1000 MW. These projects are worth $550 million to $1.1 billion. This announcement was one of the three deals signed between the firm and the ministry during the time. Another one of these agreements entailed a $1.2 billion plan to set up a 1.5 GW capacity combined cycle gas turbine power plant.
Competitive Advantage of Gulf Energy Firms
Gulf-based energy firms seem to be in a clear favourable position when it comes to winning projects in Uzbekistan. One of the reason behind this could be its strong position in neighbouring markets and delivery of renewable projects at lower costs. At the same time, Saudi Arabia is keen to double the renewable energy tenders this year.
Utility firms based in the Gulf, ACWA Power and Masdar in particularly seem to be expanding their footpring across the globe. ACWA has its hands full with over 55 projects in 11 countries. Masdar, on the other hand, is operational in more than 20 countries.