1.3. Assessment of using renewable power technologies for rural districts of Kyrgyzstan in the current conditions
In the materials widespread at a business forum “Kyrgyzstan – Tatarstan” held on March 3, 2015, it was noted, that potential resources of nontraditional renewable energy sources in Kyrgyzstan are estimated in 840 million tons of equivalent fuel per year. Among them 570.5 million tons are accounted for solar power, wind power – 246 million tons, geothermal power – 21 million tons, biomass – 1.8 million tons and small water streams – 0.7 million tons.
If RES use in the industrialized countries is defined basically by the issues of environment protection and requirements of search, first of all, for additional power resources, it is necessary to consider RES in respect of Kyrgyzstan use as settlement, first of all, of social and economic problems of rural population.
The most part of the population (more than 60 %) lives in rural and mountain areas where frequently supply of traditional fuel is complicated due to absence of good roads in the mountains, their insufficient extent and branching makes delivery of traditional fuel and power resources expensive. For a poor population such expensive fuel will not be affordable. These circumstances stimulate use of the local autonomous RES systems, which do not require connection to existing power supply systems, and in some cases it is the only available possibility of settlement issues related to power supply to rural people. Application of wind power plants, solar energy collecting panels and photovoltaic systems or micro-HPPs for power supply to such consumers will be less cost-intensive in some circumstances.
Currently, Kyrgyzstan possesses its own innovation technologies based on application of the solar, wind, biomass, and small water flows power. Thus, production of solar thermal batteries for water heating and cooking by the population of rural areas was implemented within the framework of Kun project. Production of such batteries is fulfilled in Karabalta town.
Centre for RES development specializes in improvement and introduction of “green” technologies as follows:
• Biogas technologies
• Solar technologies
• Micro-, mini-HPP
• Heat pumps
• Wind power
• Power efficiency
Use of wind power in the Kyrgyz Republic is considered perspective in case small wind-driven power plants with low capacity of 1-5 kW are used for power generation and supply to individual consumers.
Scientific development on wind-driven power plants attracts practical interest. These units can operate at wind speeds 2 times lower and generate regular capacity for wind-driven power plants. Double-wheel wind-driven power plant DWPP-0.25 for power supply to not energy intensive agricultural consumers and individual residential houses. This plant is developed particularly for the climate conditions of mountainous areas of Kyrgyzstan and is meant for autonomous work. Technical solutions are protected by several patents. Work was carried out in joint cooperation with OREMI JSC and the Institute of Automation of the National Academy of Sciences.
Preproduction models of heat-pump systems (HPS) with capacity of 2 and 15 kW were produced in cooperation with Agrohladremmash JSC and passed industrial tests at this enterprise. HPS-12 was developed in cooperation with Zhanar JSC. HPS is considered as one of the most effective and potentially productive directions for conversion of RES and application of low-potential and secondary energy sources for residential houses and premises heating.
Introduction of biogas technologies in the agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic is a real opportunity for settlement of issues on power supply to rural population, including significant decrease of load on ecology of the country by preventing from methane emissions into the atmosphere. Use of biomass for production of inflammable gas – methane. A number of research, development and experimental works were carried out in this direction, which allowed creating 2 types of biogas plants. The first one – biogas plants for rural areas, the second one – of industrial type.
Use of biogas improves living conditions in the households. People living in rural areas of Kyrgyzstan, particularly women, who spend a lot of time and money for procurement of wood and coal. Application of biogas provides more free time and at the same time, reduces the need for performing heavy physical work, improves the living conditions of women and vulnerable groups of society, as biogas is used for domestic purposes – cooking and heating.
Development of biogas technologies in the Kyrgyz Republic was initiated 12 years ago, currently, about 70 biogas plants have been installed and put into operation primarily by means of donors funds: JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), UNDP and European Commission. These plants can produce from 20 cubic meters up to 400 cubic meters of gas (methane) per day depending on loaded raw materials (dung). About 25 biogas plants located in Chui and Issyk-Kul regions were constructed for the last years within the framework of different projects and with assistance of individuals. 12 biogas plants were constructed within the framework of JICA projects (Japan International Cooperation Agency). The major enterprises which introduce biogas plants are the following: Fluid Public Fund, Zhaz JSC and the Renewable Energy Source Center.
Fluid Public Fund is the most active in construction of biogas plants; it possesses production capacities and scientific base. Biogas plants of Fluid PF allow heating farms and individual houses of farmers out of nothing, i.e. cow dung, which is regarded as wastes in the villages of Kyrgyzstan.
In Kochkorskiy district, Naryn region, farmer Tologon Zhamalov installed portable biogas plant БЭМ-5М (Fig. 7), which processes dung and turns it into fertilizers and methane. According to its engineer, Aleksey Vedenev, head of Fluid Public Fund, this unit is “the first in the world” portable biogas plant.
Figure 7 – Portable biogas plant БЭМ-5М
Biogas plant of such type attracted interest of the representatives from South Korea. Specialists of Fluid Public Fund designed and constructed portable biogas plant БЭМ-50 for rural cooperative from South Korea. This plant will allow processing up to three tons of dung per day and generate up to 120 cubic meters of biogas within the same period of time. This plant will provide 20 families with power necessary for cooking and hot water supply, as well as heating of their houses. Another product of processing is bio-fertilizers, which can increase yielding capacity of crops by 2-3 times. Export of biogas plant to DPRK was fulfilled with assistance of UNDP; the cost of this plant is KGS 600-700 thousand.
Use of solar power for provision of standby power supply, heating and hot water supply is very necessary in the regions located far from central power supply systems. According to BIOM employees, currently, solar power plants with the total area of 60 thousand square meters have been installed in the Kyrgyz Republic.
BIOM Ecological Movement within the framework of the project “Power efficiency for sustainable future” of the programs “Clean power” implements plans on power saving and power efficiency in local communities. Owing to efforts of BIOM Movement the handbook “Power saving and renewable power: goods and services in the market of Kyrgyzstan” has been developed in the Kyrgyz Republic, in this handbook it is possible to find information on the expert and scientific community working in RES sphere. BIOM specialists train rural people, how to install water heating unit (solar power collecting units), which can heat water up to 80 degrees. Moreover, they suggest vacuum collectors, solar furnaces and solar barrels for feldsher-midwife stations (FMS) and family physicians groups (FPG). All these units were used and approved as they are simple in use, maintenance and repair. 35 solar barrels, 2 power efficient furnaces, 15 solar power plants and 3 solar furnaces were introduced within the framework of the project in the pilot villages. Several additional solar barrels and furnaces, vacuum flasks and rucksacks were presented to administrations in order to attract interest of local authorities to new RES. There is visual information regarding six villages, which were turned into exhibitions of solar technologies in Kyrgyzstan. Upon 3-day training, the inhabitants of Ak-Terek village, Dzheti-Oguzskiy district, assembled independently 10 solar barrels and installed thereof on the roof of local school. Inhabitants of Tuze village assembled 7 solar power collecting units and installed thereof in the organizations under the guidance of the project trainers.
In recent years, hospitals, FMS, health centers with alternative power supply are being built and re-equipped in the cities and villages, including the most remote ones, thanks to donor support. In 2012, PVS were installed in the territorial hospitals of Tonskiy district of Issyk-Kul region, At-Bashinskiy district of Naryn region, Alaiskiy district of Osh region and in the hospital of Jalal-Abad region. New technologies of power supply were introduced within the framework of the projects “Provision of uninterrupted power supply to feldsher-midwife stations” and UNDP/GEF project “Improvement of energy efficiency in buildings”. Upon installation of photovoltaic stations, conditions for rendering medical assistance were created in FMS taking into account scheduled outages and emergencies. Solar equipment and micro-HPP provided complete satisfaction of FMS requirements in power, independence and continuous power supply.
Ministry of Energy and Industry in cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) implements the project “Strategic planning for developing small-scale power sector in the Kyrgyz Republic.” This project is implemented by Mercados EMI Consortium (Spain) and RusHydro OJSC (Russia) by means of grant funding provided by the EBRD. 20 small perspective HPPs among 88 potential sites were selected, existing mechanisms of support and integration of renewable energy sources were reviewed within the framework of the project. 4 small HPPs were selected among 20 potential sites, terms of reference were elaborated for them (Orto-Tokoiskiy – 20 MW, Oi-Alma – 7.7 MW, Sokulukskiy -5 – 1.5 MW, Tortgulskiy – 3.0 MW).
Efficiency of small hydropower plants directly depends on net cost of power generation, quantity of consumers, remoteness between consumers and the main power transmission lines. With an increase in quantity of consumers and distances from the main power transmission lines the net cost of the power generation decreases. Calculations show, if investments amount to USD 500 per 1 kW of the installed capacity of small hydropower plant, net cost is lower, than in the central power supply system in case the consumer is located at the distance of 5-10 km from provided that more than 20 consumers are available. Use of such approach and calculations carried out with reference to natural and climatic conditions of the Kirghiz Republic indicate that in these conditions practically all the consumers located in decentralized areas can be effectively provided with the power supply generated by small hydropower plant.
Medium-scale grant project “Development of small HPPs” is implemented in cooperation with UNDP. The main objective of the project is to create conditions to attract investors in the small hydropower sector, creation and development of the legal framework in the field of RES and small HPPs, public awareness of the renewable energy sources potential. Experts of the project “Development of small HPPs” consider that the main objective of their work in this area is reconstruction of operating SHPPs; rehabilitation of small HPPs (introduction of new capacity of 22 MW); construction of small HPPs in the new sections of the rivers (178 MW); construction of SHPPs on existing water management objects (75MW).
According to Bogombaeva, the Manager of the UN project on construction of small HPPs (with capacity from 5 up to 300 kW) for rural households and settlements located in the immediate vicinity of rivers, 5-kW HPP can provide power to small farm, but in view of the fact that the construction and installation of such equipment cost thousands of dollars, such initiatives need donor funding.
Within the framework of the project micro-HPP was installed for feldsher-midwife station in Kommuna village of Sokulukskiy district, Chui region, in 2013, thereby all conditions were created for rendering medical assistance even in case of scheduled outage and in emergency situations. Micro-HPP with capacity of 5 kW is a backup power source for rural FMS and will ensure its uninterrupted operation. The FMS is rebuilt using energy-saving technologies. Photovoltaic converters are mounted on the building, with a total area of 12.8 square meters and installed capacity of 300 watts, it enough to provide power to a refrigerator and lighting two rooms of healthcare institution during outage from standard power supply system. Vacuum solar collector, with surface area of 8 m², is installed on the roof; it provides hot water for medical needs. Clean technologies, used in construction of FMS in Kommuna village allow significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which has a positive effect on climate change. The annual expenses for electricity and heating are expected to be reduced by 40-50%.
The project “Provision of sustainable power supply to feldsher-midwife stations” has been implemented by four United Nations organizations since 2010: UNDP, United Nations Volunteers (UNV), WHO, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). Project is funded by the One UN Program. The total amount of granted funds is USD 665 thousand. The project partners are the Ministry of Energy and Industry, the Ministry of Health, Public Foundation “Centre for Development of RES and EE”, “BIOM” Ecological Movement.
The program of small grants of the Global Environment Facility’s Small Grants Program (GEF/SGP) and Public Association of social protection named after Fomova (PASP) in cooperation with the OSCE Centre in Bishkek. As a result of the project “Implementation of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency of the center for children-orphans and children from socially vulnerable families of Orlovka town” launched in February 2013, solar water-heating systems that will satisfy the needs of the children and teachers in hot water all year round were installed. Such system is easy to install, it requires almost no maintenance.
Unison PEF implements projects for sustainable development since 2002, one of which is to ensure the sustainable power supply to the communities of remote regions, while minimizing poverty and social tension (the basic components of conflict); and mitigating their negative effects on the environment at the local level.
Major energy company of Bavaria, Rhine-Main-Danube JSC was suggested to review several construction projects of small and medium-sized HPPs in Kyrgyzstan. This issue was discussed during the meeting of Vice-Prime Minister Valery Diehl with the President of Rhine-Main-Danube JSC Albrecht Schleih. Vice-Prime Minister V. Diehl noted that in order to attract investors survey of promising 23 plots for the construction of small HPPs was carried out with assessment of hydroelectric potential, a list of HPPs in need of investment and with initial feasibility study, business plan or preliminary draft was prepared. On the basis of these materials digital maps are to be created with drawing objects of small HPPs, with coordinates and distance to the nearest settlement with brief of hydro-energy characteristics.