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Kazakhstan has potential to increase use of biomass for energy

Kazakhstan has immense fossil fuel resources including coal, oil, and gas. There is potential in utilizing more solar, wind, and biomass in increasing the renewable share of the country, delegates at the XI KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum held during 7 – 8 September 2017 in Astana were told.

WBA President, Remigijus Lapinskas highlighting that although Kazakhstan has immense fossil fuel resources, the country also has significant biomass resources readily available in the agricultural sector that currently are burned in the fields or left to rot. This opens up for biomass co-firing in the heat and power sector (photo courtesy WBA).

Also attended by the World Bioenergy Association (WBA), the XI KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum is a key event for the region which facilitates discussion of world energy companies on issues related to sustainable utilization of resources, energy access, climate change and alternative energy. The topic of the current forum was ‘Securing the future of energy’.

Kazakhstan has immense fossil fuel resources including coal, oil, and gas. However, there is an increasing and ongoing discussion on renewable energy future. The country is now producing 12 percent of its electricity from hydropower while the rest of the renewables contribute less than 1 percent collectively. There is potential in utilizing more solar, wind, and biomass in increasing the renewable share in the country.

Speaking at the session on ‘Clean Energy – Contribution to the Future’, a session was focused on encouraging discussions on the profitability of green energy resources, stimulating investment, best policy approach and the prospects of renewable energy technologies in varying national and regional contexts, WBA President, Remigijus Lapinskas highlighted the biomass resources readily available.

Kazakhstan has immense potential in biomass resources in the agricultural sector. Every year, millions of tonnes of straw – especially from wheat – are burned in the fields or left to rot. This is an issue in other Asian countries as well, like in China and India, Lapinskas said.

According to Lapinskas, the key sectors for bioenergy development include co-firing coal with biomass, use of biomass for production of heat in district heating sector and industry and the use of excess residues for liquid biofuels production. WBA is working on cooperation with the local stakeholders in increasing the utilization of biomass in the region.

In Kazakhstan, the utilization of agricultural residues for heat and electricity looks promising. The future development of biomass is encouraging and we encourage our members and other technology companies to explore the possibility of technology and knowledge transfer to the region, said Lapinskas.

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