Uzbekistan establishes int'l solar institute
By Aynur Jafarova
Uzbekistan established the International Solar Energy Institute, Kyrgyz Telegraph Agency reported on September 30.
The institute was founded by the Uzbek Academy of Sciences and the Uzbekenergo State Joint-Stock Company, in accordance with the decree "On the measures on establishment of the International Solar Energy Institute" issued by the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers on September 30.
Under the decree, the Academy of Sciences will hold a 51 percent in the statutory fund of the institute, which was established in the form of a limited liability company, and Uzbekenergo will retain the rest 49 percent.
The foundation staff of the institute may include international organizations, foreign government agencies, financial institutions, foundations, academic and research centers, investors, enterprises and other interested entities, the document said.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided the Uzbek government with a $3 million grant to establish the International Solar Energy Institute.
The institute is aimed to implement high-tech developments in the field of industrial application of solar energy, to conduct applied researches, related to the use of solar energy in various sectors of economy and to coordinate the development of documentation for major projects in the field of solar energy.
In early 2013 Uzbekistan developed a set of measures for development of alternative sources of energy.
In particular, it is planned to establish an enterprise for production of photovoltaic panels with capacity of 100 MW and the construction of a solar photovoltaic power plant with capacity of 100 MW in the Samarqand region of the country.
According to local experts, with the current tendencies and volumes of resource consumption, the natural gas and coal reserves in Uzbekistan will last only for the next 20-30 years, while oil reserves are almost depleted.
Presently 97 percent in Uzbekistan's structure of primary fuel and energy resources accounts for oil and gas, 2.3 percent for coal and 0.7 percent for hydropower while the share of renewable energy in Uzbekistan does not exceed one percent.
The potential of solar energy in the country with 300 sunny days per year constitutes about 51 billion tons of oil equivalent.