Kazakhstan's environmental standards for TPP three times behind Europe29 january 2015, 23:19
The environmental requirements for thermal power plants in Kazakhstan are two or three times lower than in Europe, Tengrinews reports citing the Executive Director of KazEnergy Ramazan Zhampiesov.
Kazakhstani thermal power plants, according to Zhampiesov, for the most part work on coal. “It has to do with environment and emissions. Certainly, there are technologies that help reduce the pollution. But the standards established by our legislation are the problem. These environmental standards do not reflect the reality. Being too low, they don't stimulate any significant improvements in the local environment protection. We have conducted a comparative analysis and found that our environmental requirements are 2 or 3 times lower than those applied in European Union countries. We must take adequate measures to lower our emissions. State officials are working on it, but it not being done fast enough. At the same time these requirements should not be increased sharply, because this would strongly affect the rates, citizens and social sphere,” the Executive Director explained.
Another problem that hinders progress in protection of the environment from harmful emissions of coal-fuelled power plants is the advanced stage of tear and wear that the Kazakhstani plants are at. The extent of tear and wear is 70% which makes any kind of modernization a very complicated effort. “Rate setting is the key to the solution of this issue. But we have to take care not only about the thermal power plants, but also the distribution infrastructure, the transportation network (...). All of these are in need of modernisation, but it will never become possible unless the tariff rates are high enough to ensure return on investments,” Zhampiesov said.
In addition to modernization of thermal power plants, Kazakhstan plans to avail of renewable power sources. The Kazakh government expects to get three percent of the total consumed energy from renewable power sources by 2020. According to Zhampiesov, there are many companies willing to enter the market and construct green energy plants, but this point such power plants are not feasible. Hence, thermal power plants fuelled by coal will remain the main energy sources in Kazakhstan in the forceable future.
Reporting Dmitry Khegai, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina