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Energy Security in Kazakhstan

by Zulfiya Yertayeva | 07-09-2023 11:03 recommendations 0

Electricity supply is one of the key components of modern life, ensuring the functioning of industries, households, and public infrastructure. However, in recent years, Kazakhstan has been facing issues in the field of electric power, which have a negative impact on the lives of its citizens and the country's development.


One of the primary problems is inadequate electricity generation. Due to population growth, industrial development, and increased energy consumption, existing power stations cannot provide stable and reliable electricity supply. This leads to frequent power outages, especially during hot summer months when electricity demand sharply rises.


Another significant issue is outdated equipment and infrastructure in the electric power sector. Many power stations and networks require modernization and reconstruction to ensure more efficient and reliable operation. The lack of sufficient investments and management decisions hampers this process.


 Аnother crucial problem is low energy efficiency. Electricity transmission and distribution systems often experience energy losses due to outdated technologies and improper operation. This not only increases the cost of electricity production but also has a negative impact on the environment.


Over the past decade in March, three serious accidents occurred at two Kazakhstan thermal power plants in Petropavlovsk and Stepnogorsk. Similar accidents tend to recur, which is not surprising given the current situation in the country's electricity sector.


The issue lies in the fact that all of Kazakhstan's energy infrastructure is a historical legacy of the Soviet Union. For example, Thermal Power Plant-2 in Petropavlovsk, where two accidents occurred within a week, was commissioned as far back as 1961. Other major energy facilities in the country were also built during the same period.


During the years of independence, not all facilities underwent major repairs and reconstruction. This requires both time and financial investments. Energy facilities need to be taken out of operation one by one to avoid affecting the stability and reliability of the entire power system.


The second reason for the significant shortage of electrical energy, as mentioned earlier, is the emergence of a large number of so-called "grey" miners in the country. Kazakhstan ranks second in mining after China.


It's important to understand who these miners are. Mining is the process of acquiring cryptocurrencies by downloading them from the internet. According to experts, the mining of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, involves the brute-force guessing of numbers, for each of which a so-called "hash" is calculated (it is also often used to verify data integrity, for example, when downloading from the network). If the hash matches a specified pattern, such as a certain number of leading zeros, a new unit of cryptocurrency is issued, essentially mining it.

It seems that many cryptocurrency farms have closed down now.


I once watched a BBC program where an climate expert in Karaganda explained that a colossal amount of electricity is consumed due to mining farms. Here in Karaganda, coal mines burn coal to generate electricity, resulting in very polluted air. At that time, according to an expert's estimate, the share of renewables was only 2%.


Today, Kazakhstan is attempting to address the future electricity shortage through the construction of a nuclear power plant. As you may know, to support such a nuclear power station, a reservoir with a large quantity of water is required for cooling purposes. Some are concerned that this approach may deprive people of water, while others believe that there will be no issues with water supply.


At the same time, Kazakhstan is strengthening its relations with the European Union in the field of green energy to create an alternative to nuclear power plants. Kazakhstan also aims to take steps toward achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, similar to European countries, to improve the global environmental situation.


References:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7wyd20l4QM.   (BBC about crypto in Kazakhstan)


https://primeminister.kz/ru/news/kazakhstan-planiruet-uvelichit-dolyu-vozobnovlyaemykh-istochnikov-energii-v-energobalanse-do-15-k-2030-godu-alikhan-smailov-24599


https://ru.sputnik.kz/20230906/kak-defitsit-vody-skazhetsya-na-stroitelstve-aes-v-kazakhstane-video-38237332.html


https://www.inform.kz/ru/energobalans-kazahstana-deficit-elektroenergii-i-kak-izbezhat-krizisa_a3920150

 

Zulfiya Yertayeva

  • Kazakhstan E-gen Ambassador Zulfiya Yertayeva
 
 
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6 Comments

SangHyeon Park

  • SangHyeon Park says :
    Hello, I'm mentor Sanghyeon.
    This article is a well-organized logical article on the energy problems which Kazakhstan face and solutions for that.
    Thank you for the good article.
    Posted 28-09-2023 16:49

Emmanuel  Dassah

Emmanuel  Dassah

Zulfiya  Yertayeva

  • Zulfiya Yertayeva says :
    Thank you @Seeun and thank you @Bruno , for the pleasure feedbacks . It's a pleasure to me.
    Posted 14-09-2023 17:13

Bruno Troya

  • Bruno Troya says :
    Zulfiya, your report on the electricity issues in Kazakhstan is truly enlightening. It's encouraging to witness the nation's initiatives in adopting green energy and tackling these obstacles. Keep up the fantastic work in sharing these valuable insights
    Posted 11-09-2023 02:23

Seeun Mentor

  • Seeun Mentor says :
    Hi, this is your mentor Seeun.
    I learned what kind of energy problems Kazakhstan faces, and why thanks to your article. I think it's good that Kazakhstan is having stong relations with the Europian Union, and I hope that all these problems can be solved together.
    Thank you for the great report, and keep up the good work!!
    Posted 07-09-2023 13:56

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