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Kazakhstan energy experts call GHG emission quotas populism

31 october 2013, 01:36
Chairman of Kazakhstan Electric Power Saving Association Shaimerden Urazalinov has called the Kazakhstan Environment Protection Ministry's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions a blunt populism and attempt to show off for the West, Tengrinews reports.

Urazalinov believes that these plans are a threat to Kazakhstan coal-fueled energy and that their implementation is likely to undermine achievement of the goals that the Kazakhstan economy is supposed to reach before 2030.

According to Urazalinov the Kazakhstan government wants to increase generation of electric power and at the same time reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "83 percent of our power is generated by coal in Kazakhstan. How can we possibly increase the output and the capacity of the coal plants - increase the amounts of the burnt coal, but at the same time decreased the GHG emissions?

"Europe has no gas, no coal, nothing. They import their fuel. But we have been mining Ekibastuz coal for 300 years already. This is populism," Urazalinov says criticizing the government plans.

The attempt to reduce GHG emissions is going to result in closure of coal plants, the energy expert believes. "I am not sure who will 'turn green' as a result, but it surely won't be good for the coal-fueled generators. The will be faced with billions in fines. The plants will have to be stopped, of at lease limited.

"According to the long-term development forecasts on power energy until 2030, we are now producing 91 billion kWh of power a year. By 2030 we need to produce 145-150 billion kWh a year. But who can possibly find an alternative to coal before 2030?" Urazalinov wonderes.

Urazalinov argues that the plan to transfer the power generating plants to gas is not a good option. "The transfer to gas in not scheduled for any foreseeable future. We had a meeting with R&D institutes and power plants where we prepared an address to the government asking it to reject the national plan on the GHGs in its current wording," he says.

Meanwhile, Kazakhstan is number one by greenhouse gas emissions in Central Asia. They are expected to made 274 million tons in 2013.

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