Kyrgyzstan’s nuclear power initiative: Harnessing energy for sustainable development

Kyrgyzstan aims to venture into nuclear energy for electricity production, Azernews reports, citing Kyrgyz Deputy Energy Minister Taalaibek Baigaziev telling at the ATOMEXPO-2024 forum in Sochi, Russia. Baigaziev emphasized that the development of nuclear power in Kyrgyzstan is a gradual process and cannot be accomplished hastily, highlighting the need for thorough exploration, especially concerning the existing network infrastructure. In 2023, Kyrgyzstan imported 3.4 billion kWh of electricity from Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia, primarily due to the strain on transportation networks during winter months, according to the Deputy Minister. To alleviate this dependence on imports, Kyrgyzstan has set a strategic direction to enhance internal capacities by focusing on renewable energy sources, with plans to establish a base generation of 100–300 MW. Baigaziev also mentioned the country’s intention to harness wind energy.

In 2022, the Ministry of Energy in Kyrgyzstan entered a memorandum of cooperation with Rosatom for constructing a small nuclear power plant featuring the RITM-200 reactor. This initiative was later expanded to include the potential construction of multiple small-scale nuclear power stations, each boasting a capacity of 55 megawatts. Furthermore, Kyrgyzstan aims to activate 17 hydroelectric power stations (HPS) by 2026, with the government targeting the commissioning of at least 50 MW of new capacity in 2024 and 62 MW in 2026, comprising both major and minor hydroelectric facilities. Additionally, the country plans to introduce an additional capacity of 6,450 MW from solar and wind power stations between 2024 and 2026, with an estimated 13 stations expected to commence operations during this period.