The transmission and distribution system comprises three networks, two in the north and one in the south, totalling 285,000 km of distribution lines. Of the northern networks, one exports electricity to Russia and the other imports it from Russia. The southern network—connected to the Unified Energy System (UES) of Central Asia—imports electricity from the Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Kazakhstan plans to promote RES development in the following key directions:Creation of favorable conditions for construction and operation of RES capacities;Promotion of electricity and heat generation from RES and creation of favorable conditions for efficient integration of RES capacities in the Unified Power System;Allocation for investment incentives.The Program of Electricity Sector Development for 2010–2014 includes wind power plants that are in energy balance, and that can contribute to about 1% of the total energy consumption by 2015.Law on Power IndustryThe Law on Power Industry is dated 9 July 2004. This law regulates social relations arising in course of generation, transmission and use of electric and thermal energy.Law on the Use of Renewable Energy SourcesIn June 2009 Kazakhstan's parliament passed the final amendments to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources, which established a full regulatory framework for the division. The law obliges all electricity transmission companies to allow the renewables sector to connect to the grid. The law also provides for a number of incentives including feed-in tariffs adopted end of August 2013 (with rates to be determined). In addition, the legislation states that 5% of Kazakhstan's total energy balance must be renewable by 2024.Kyoto ProtocolKazakhstan signed the Kyoto Protocol in March 1999, and this was finally approved by parliament in February 2009, making it the last signatory country to ratify the treaty. President Nazarbayev ratified the document formally into law in June 2009. Kazakhstan will now be able to sell emission rights to countries that have exceeded their pollution quotas. According to the country's own latest assessment (2009) for the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), its total greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 amounted to the equivalent of 237m tonnes of carbon dioxide, or about 74% of the level in 1990.The energy industry accounted for 83% of the total, up from 80% in 1990. Under this assessment, most of the proposed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions over the forecast period can be achieved by upgrading existing generating capacity to make it more fuel-efficient and cleaner, a process that will require substantial investment. The assessment also envisions greater use of coal from 2015 onwards, because of its cost advantages over other fuels, including natural gas.National Programme for Accelerated Industrial and Innovation DevelopmentThe National Programme for Accelerated Industrial and Innovation Development of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the period from 2010 to 2014. One of the main targets of the Programme is to reduce energy intensity of industry in order to achieve competitiveness of Kazakhstan’s economy. The programme also sets the target of achieving 1% share of electricity produced from RES by 2015. National Programme for Transition to Sustainable DevelopmentThe National Programme for Transition to Sustainable Development calls for increasing RES’ share in Kazakhstan’s energy balance to 5% by 2024.Energy Efficiency 2020 ProgrammeIn August 2013, Kazakhstan adopted the Energy Efficiency 2020 Program that would reduce emission 10% every year until 2015. Adopted by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov, this new law would help reduce emissions and help with energy efficient solutions from large companies to small families. 2,000 industrial enterprises would have to undergo energy audits by July 2015. The program in the long run shall reduce the amount of energy per square meter by 30% and reduce costs by 14%.
HydropowerHydropower accounts for approximately 12% of Kazakhstan’s total generating capacity. Average annual hydropower generation in Kazakhstan amounts to 7.78 billion kWh. By absolute indices of potential hydro resources Kazakhstan is third amongst CIS countries. Hydropower potential of Kazakhstan is estimated at about 170 billion kWh per year, technically feasible – 62 billion kWh, economically feasible – 27 billion kWh, effectively used - 7–8 billion kWh per year (8,860.9 million kWh in 2002). Hydro resources are spread throughout the country, but there are three major districts: the Irtysh River basin with main tributaries (Bukhtarma, Uba, Ulba, Kurchum, Kardzhil, South-Eastern zone with the Ili River basin, and the Southern zone – basins of Syrdaria, Talas and Chu rivers.Programs of small hydropower development in Kazakhstan include reconstruction and renovation of previously constructed small HPPs, adding small HPPs to water management projects with already existing water retaining structures with the aim of utilizing waste releases, and construction of new small HPPs for power supply of users in the outlying districts of the power system. Favourable factors for the development of hydro potential are:Interest of regional authorities in small hydropowerPrivate investors of small hydropower are provided with state short-term credits;There are some privileges (tax holidays) in realization of investment projectsWindExceptionally rich in wind resources, about 50% of Kazakhstan’s territory has average wind speeds about 4-5 m/sec at a height of 30 m. Some calculations estimate the wind potential of Kazakhstan around 1,820 billion KW/h per year spread over most of the country. Windy sites are mostly located in the Caspian Sea area of Atyray and Mangistay oblasts; and in central and southern Kazakhstan. A country wide-wind atlas is available. With a density of wind capacity about 10 MW/sq.km, there is a possibility to install thousands MW of wind farms in Kazakhstan. In May 2013, terms of an agreement have been signed by the Eurasian Development Bank for the first ever wind power plant in Kazakhstan to be located in the town of Yereimentau in the Akmola region with the 45-megawatt wind facility.Three wind power plants will be launched in Almaty oblast in the period from 2014 to 2018.The Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of Kazakhstan has selected 10 sitesfor construction of large wind power plants (WPP) with total capacity up to 1,000 MW in orderto provide for commercial generation of electricity in the amount of 2–3 billion kWh.Only one wind power plant has been put into operation in Kazakhstan: in December 2011Kordaiskaya WPP was launched (1,500 kW) in the Zhambyl Region.SolarThe solar energy resource potential is quite great for the vast territory of the largest Central Asian Republic. The number of sunny hours is 2,200-3,000 per year, and the energy of solar radiation is 1,300-1,800 kW/m2/year. Despite the very favourable conditions for solar energy, there is little use of the resource yet. Six solar plants of 50 MW are to be built in the country's southern Zhambyl region by end of 2016BiomassThe area of Kazakhstan occupied by forests reaches more than 10 million hectares that represents 4% of the whole territory of country, from which 4.7 million hectares are covered by saxaul. In 1990, the volume of logging in forests made up about 3 million clear m3 per year. Wood processing at woodworking factories as well as the wood, which is used as firewood, make up almost 1.3 million clear m3 or 1 million tons. Thus, the energy potential of timber waste comprises more than 200 thousand toe.GeothermalKazakhstan possesses a large resource of middle and low temperature thermal water. Evaluation of geothermal resources was carried out in accordance with testing results for numerous wells drilled for oil and gas exploration and production. The most prospective geothermal reservoirs were found in Cretaceous formations in the South and South west of Kazakhstan.The geothermal field Kaplanbek (near the city of Shymkent) with thermal water temperature of80°C is used for the heat supply of residential buildings. Thermal water resources (temperature 80–120°C) near the city of Almaty are used for heating greenhouses in winter and for air-conditioning in summer.