By Kamila Aliyeva
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has signed a decree to approve the country’s hydropower engineering development program for 2017-2022, the press service of the Uzbek president said.
The program envisages construction of new hydroelectric power plants and modernization of existing ones through wide use of environmentally friendly renewable energy sources.
Overall, it is planned to build 42 new and modernize 32 existing hydroelectric power plants within the program.
The construction and modernization of hydroelectric power plants should be carried out with the introduction of modern and well-grounded scientific and technical solutions, while ensuring preservation of the existing flora and fauna during the construction of hydraulic structures.
Uzbekistan is one of the few countries which are fully self-sufficient in energy resources. It is the second largest of the Caspian gas producers (after Turkmenistan) and its abundant natural gas resources are used both for domestic consumption and export.
Uzbekistan is the second largest electricity producer in Central Asia. Currently, 45 power plants with the capacity of nearly 13,000 megawatts, including 16 power plants of Uzbekenergo with the total capacity of 12,040 megawatts, operate in Uzbekistan’s power supply system.
Up to 90 percent of electricity is produced by 10 thermal power plants of Uzbekenergo with the total installed capacity of 10,600 megawatts. The company’s 29 hydropower plants with the installed capacity of 1,400 megawatts are mostly united within hydropower plant cascades.
The rest of the electricity is generated by autonomous thermal power stations of the industrial enterprises and small hydroelectric power stations belonging to the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The electricity is transmitted and distributed through power transmission lines whose voltage ranges between 0.4 and 500 kV and whose total length currently exceeds 243,000 km.
Uzbekistan’s electricity capacity is expected to increase thanks to the modernization of old facilities. Uzbekenergo is currently implementing 28 large-scale investment projects.