his report presents an overview of the state of conventional energy sources and the potential for development of renewable energy sources in the Central Asia countries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. The region has a population of about 50 million in an area of more than four million square kilometers. The per capita gross internal product is more than 2,500 dollard, although the economy has been declining the past five years. The area has substantial coal, oil, uranium, and natural gas reserves, although they are not distributed equally among the five countries. Energy production is such that the countries do not have to rely heavily on imports. One of the problems in Central Asia is that the energy prices are substantially below the world prices. This is a factor in development of renewable energy sources. The primary renewable energy resources available are wind in Kazakhstan, solar in the entire region, biomass in Kyrgyzstan, and micro-hydropower stations in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. All of these have the potential to provide a significant amount of the required energy for the region. However, all of the countries have an abundance of various renewable energy resources. To effectively use these resources, however, a number of barriers to their development and commercialization must be overcome. These include low prices of conventional energy sources, absence of legislative support, lack of financing for new technologies, and lack of awareness of renewable energy sources by the population. A number of specific actions are proposed to overcome these barriers. These include establishment of a Central Asia coordinating council for renewable energy, development of a regional renewable energy program, and setting up a number of large demonstration projects.
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