Scenarios of GHG emissions from fuel combustion in Kazakhstan

Aiymgul Kerimray, Aidyn Bakdolotov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Kazakhstan fell by 64 per cent between 1990 and 1999, reaching their lowest recorded value: 127 MtCO2e. In the following years, with the recovery of the economy, GHG emissions have been steadily rising (except during the global financial crisis years of 2008-2009) with an average growth rate of 5 per cent, reaching an average value of 257 MtCO2e in the years 2009-2012. Fuel combustion was responsible for 80 per cent of the total GHG emissions in 2012, according to the GHG emissions inventory of Kazakhstan (UNFCCC, 2014). Power plants accounted for 51 per cent of fuel combustion emissions, mostly due to coal-fired power plants. Most power plants were inherited from the Soviet Union era, and 41 per cent of the generating capacities have been operating for more than 30 years (Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2013). Efficiency at the largest coal-fired electric power plants is no more than 40 per cent, while at heating plants it does not exceed 65 to 70 per cent. Furthermore, losses in networks and fuel consumption for electricity generation are 25 to 30 per cent higher than in the developed countries (Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2013). The inefficiencies of the country’s energy system can be analysed with the fuel-energy balance of Kazakhstan. The ratio of the total final consumption over the total primary energy supply shows that only 55 per cent of the energy produced in the country is delivered to the final demand sectors. Figure 7.2 shows the Sankey diagram of the fuel energy flows in Kazakhstan. Nearly 30 per cent of the total primary energy supply is lost, which is mainly attributable to heat losses. Some of the reasons are: the extreme continental climate, long heating season, high-degree heating days, large distances between suppliers and consumers, high wear on main and auxiliary equipment in energyintensive sectors, dilapidation of housing stock and lack of incentives for energy saving. Recognising the need for transition to a low-carbon economy path, the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan has initiated ambitious policies, as follows. In 2013, the Concept of the Republic of Kazakhstan for Transition to the Green Economy was approved. The GDP energy intensity target is a reduction by 30 per cent in 2030 and by 50 per cent in 2050. Another aim is to have a 50 per cent share of renewables and nuclear power plants in electricity generation by 2050. Gas-fired power plants are planned to increase to 30 per cent in total electricity generation in 2050. On 12 January 2012, the law ‘On Energy Saving and Energy Efficiency Improvement’ was adopted. It covers the creation of a State Energy Register and mandatory energy audits on major industrial sites and public services. It also covers measures to differentiate heat prices, as well as energy efficiency in buildings. For the realisation of these ambitious targets, the ‘Energy Saving - 2020’ programme was adopted. Along with measures for energy efficiency improvement in sectors, it also contains the means to raise public awareness and training courses for personnel. In 2013, a domestic carbon trading scheme was introduced. Companies with CO2 emissions of more than 20,000 tons were included in the National Allocation Plan. Between 2007 and 2013, the GDP energy intensity declined by 19 per cent and 12 per cent, according to the NURIS and the IEA, respectively (Figure 7.3). The IEA reports higher GDP energy intensity, with the difference of 7 to 15 per cent. The reasons behind the differences are different assessments of total primary energy supply (TPES). Kazakhstan still has high GDP energy intensity: almost twice the level of Germany and Norway, and 33 per cent higher than the world average. The GDP carbon intensity and CO2 per capita indicators are also significantly higher than the world average: 1.8 and 3 times, respectively (IEA, 2013). Having significant energy efficiency improvement potential, Kazakhstan also has high mitigation potential at lower costs. The primary goal of this study is to prepare GHG emissions scenarios with a bottom-up technical-economical model under updated economic development assumptions and to estimate sectoral mitigation potential.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Energy in Kazakhstan
Subtitle of host publicationMoving to Cleaner Energy in a Resource-Rich Country
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781351972666
ISBN (Print)9781138238442
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

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