In addition to other profound impacts, the corona virus has offered global energy markets an unprecedented natural experiment. Collapsing demand for conventional energy fuels and inelastic supply responses have depressed oil prices that are now being incorporated into forward energy planning. This adverse investment accelerator effect is now expected to bring forward the so-called “peak oil” milestone, significantly shortening the profitable lifecycle of known oil reserves. Thus a global health crisis has given us only a foretaste of what we can expect over a longer time horizon, as climate risk continues a slower but more inexorable ascent. Simply put, the rising social cost of carbon will exert the same effect on conventional energy demand, compounded by the emergence of ever more affordable renewable substitutes. Furthermore, the international push for a ‘green recovery‘ in the aftermath of the pandemic is perceived to hasten the end of the oil era. Oyuna Baldakova and David Roland-Holst report
Despite its huge potential in the region, solar PV has not yet gained traction in Central Asia. In Kazakhstan, two utility-scale PV projects have been realized, and a few are in the pipeline for Uzbekistan as it begins to attract international investors. But many challenges on the policy level have yet to be overcome, as Komila Nabiyeva explains.
This year’s World Nuclear Status Report was published in July. 2015 turns out to have been the best year for new nuclear builds in a quarter of a century, but nothing at all has been completed yet in 2016. Craig Morris takes a look.
Renewable energy could supply Russia and Central Asian countries with all the electricity they need by 2030 − while cutting costs significantly. Paul Brown and Komila Nabiyeva investigate.
The Kazakh government has set out to modernize its fossil fuel-dependent economy, often in cooperation with German partners. The country is home to ample supplies of both uranium and renewable sources of energy. Whether it can stay its ambitious course and sustain green developments to meet its targets for 2050 remains to be seen, reminds Komila Nabiyeva.