Researchers Discussed Issues of Access to Energy in the Fergana Valley

22 Nov 2023

The CAREC Institute, the Asian Development Bank Institute and the Public Opinion Research Institute of Kazakhstan held a hybrid workshop on “Household access to energy in the Fergana Valley – a multidimensional survey-based assessment in three CAREC countries” on November 22, 2023, in Namangan, Uzbekistan. Organizational support was provided by the Turan International University. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss the preliminary results of a household survey on their access to energy in the Fergana Valley.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Akhadkhon Najmitdinov, cofounder for the Turan International University welcomed the guests. Then Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, Director of the CAREC Institute, extended regards to the participants from the CAREC Institute and noted that the governments of the CAREC member countries recognize the importance of renewable energy and are committed to improving energy security through diversification of the countries’ energy mix through increased investment in renewable energy sources. Regional cooperation helps share best practices in policy development and implementation, and facilitates technical, financial, and other forms of coordinated activities. Mr. Tajihojaev Davron, Head of the Administration of the Governor of the Namangan region, and Mr. Mullajanov Tulqin, Chief engineer of Electroset, the regional electricity distribution company, also welcomed the participants and talked about the plans for strengthening the electricity grid and developing the sustainable energy supply in the region.

Dr. Hans Holzhacker, Chief Economist of the CAREC Institute, presented the rationale and objectives of the multidimensional survey-based assessment of household access to energy in the Fergana Valley. The study aims to develop a set of recommendations for policymakers to further optimize energy access for households, micro-enterprises and communities located in the Fergana Valley, which spans over parts of the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. All three countries are already working towards a green energy transition and need knowledge to improve their green electricity generation and distribution systems.

During the first session of the workshop, country representatives Mr. Kamalbek Karymshakov, Vice-Rector of the Kyrgyz-Turkish Manas University, Mr. Daler Qubodbekov, Project Officer of the ADB Resident Mission in Tajikistan, Mr. Shakhboz Akhmedov, Country Manager Uzbekistan of Sungrow Power Supply Ltd. and Mr. Dimitris Symeonidis, Founder at the Decentralized Solutions Global Network, provided a brief overview of energy sector in Central Asian countries. The Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan already face problems of energy shortages, aging infrastructure, and increasingly inefficient and unreliable energy production facilities. The countries need to add new capacity from the vast potential of types of renewable energy sources that can improve reliability and meet their energy needs in the future.

During the second session, Mr. Botagoz Rakisheva, Director of the Public Opinion Research Institute, shared the preliminary results of the survey, noting that investigating energy access in the Fergana Valley provides a unique opportunity to study energy access in a subregion that is geographically smaller and more uniform than the CAREC region as a whole but is divided between three different legislations and is therefore well-suited for comparative analyses. The survey examined the seasonal characteristics of energy supply problems, including home heating system, central and autonomous heating, home cooling system, use of energy sources for cooking, electricity supply, energy saving, environmental protection and health, sources of information on renewable energy. In the conclusion of the second session, Ms. Dina Azhgaliyeva, Senior Research Fellow Asian Development Bank Institute, spoke about countries’ readiness to switch to clean fuel use.

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