Expanding Capacity in Central Asian Countries for the Application of New Energy and Power Technologies
To provide access to more reliable, sustainable energy and power sources, representatives of five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) participated in an exchange with India. They learned about the pros and cons of new technologies in the transmission and distribution of power, and how such technologies might be practical in their respective contexts.
The governments of five Central Asian countries – Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - sought to enhance their abilities to develop reliable, sustainable efficient power transmission and distributions systems. These ambitions included the desire of each country to understand the uses of new technologies in developing their national energy policy; their energy management and regulatory requirements; and their design and planning capacity for future investments in the power sector.
However, these countries lacked confidence in the benefits of adopting new technologies in the power transmission and distribution networks. They also did not clearly understand how the implementation of such technologies could improve their energy and production efficiencies. Nor were these countries clear on how the use of such technologies could assist them with developing transparency in their power transmission and distribution systems.
The governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan requested World Bank assistance in arranging an exchange with India. In this country, large power companies have been successful at implementing new technologies and in training policy makers and practitioners in the energy and power sectors. The participant countries hoped to learn, through practical observation of new technologies in use in India, how such technologies can lead to more reliable energy outputs.
Knowledge providers were two of India’s largest power suppliers: Tata Power and Powergrid India. Participants were energy practitioners and policy makers from each of the five Central Asian countries.
The exchange components included two study visits to India:
- Study Visit 1. During December 2-5, 2013, eight participants from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan visited India, hosted by Tata Power India and their CENPEID Training Center in Delhi. Participants took part in training activities on best practices in the design and maintenance of distribution lines, the installation of high-voltage distribution systems, emerging technologies in metering, and other relevant topics.
- Study Visit 2. During April 28-May 2, 2014, eight participants from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan visited power facilities in India. They received first-hand demonstrations and training on power systems, operations and maintenance of high-voltage distribution systems, and other relevant topics.
The exchange enhanced participant knowledge about the practical applications of new technologies for transmission and distribution networks by
- Enhancing knowledge and understanding of transparent accountability frameworks for power and financial flows. This aided in the development and eventual approval of the Kyrgyz Electricity Supply Accountability and Reliability Improvement Project, as one example. The Kyrgyz government also developed their own outage management system, similar to what they observed at Tata Power.
- Enhancing energy sector networks in Central Asia as representatives of five major regional energy companies established direct linkages with their Indian counterparts and one another.
- Raising awareness of the pros and cons of new technologies because participants were able to talk directly with those experienced in applying such systems, and to seek direct feedback on the performance and efficiencies of new systems and equipment.
- Reinforcing knowledge about the strengths of their own existing systems, and helping them to better determine what technologies were feasible in their own country contexts. In one participant's words, "We are ahead of the TATA Power in terms of technical operation of the system, but way back in the use of modern information technology for management purposes. Indeed, site visits showed this reality."
- Exchanges provide opportunities for formal dialogue between practitioners and policy makers, and equally as important, informal interactions and experience sharing among participants.
- When multiple countries are represented by the knowledge seekers or recipients, they not only learn from the experiences of the country providing knowledge, but also from one another, as they jointly participate in workshops, site visits, and informal activities.
- From the Bank’s perspective, the support of such small exchange projects provides opportunities to impart knowledge and demonstrate the application of practices that have been introduced through other Bank-supported activities in a given country.
- The support of Bank management through additional resources and staff, where possible, can help to ensure knowledge exchange success in both the technical and administrative aspects of the programs.
- Knowledge exchange is a two-way street. Both knowledge providers and knowledge recipients can learn from one another’s’ experiences.
Each of the power agencies from the five participating countries has applied relevant knowledge from the exchange in developing their ongoing energy efficiency agendas. They are expected to continually consult with one another as well as with their new Indian colleagues in ongoing sharing of knowledge about the benefits and uses of new technologies as they seek to develop reliable, efficient electric power transmission and distributions systems. Additionally, the Bank is now preparing a power distribution project in Uzbekistan that will include many of the aspects observed by Uzbek participants during the exchange at Tata Power.
This exchange was funded by the World Bank’s South-South Facility. Also, Bank management ensured study visits were supported by Bank staff who accompanied participants on site visits, assisted with interpretation, provided some technical knowledge, and acted as intermediaries with host companies, where needed. Providing resources to this end was a useful way for the Bank to obtain participant feedback and to engage them further – with a view to linking the learning gained from the exchange with Bank projects under preparation or current implementation.
Two power agencies were the primary knowledge providers and trainers:
- PowerGrid, an Indian central transmission utility that has evolved as one of the leading transmission utilities in the world, building and managing complex networks. The company has a state-of-art high-voltage network and load dispatch center.
- Tata Power Delhi Distribution, a well-managed distribution utility that is a joint venture between Tata Power and the government of Delhi.
- Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), which is responsible for wholesale power transmission and distribution in Kazakhstan and is the owner and operator of transmission lines and power substations.
- SeverElectro CJSC (SE), one of the four regional distribution companies in the the Ministry of Energy, Kyrgyz Republic and.
- Barki Tajik, the state-owned utility responsible for power generation, transmission, and distribution in Tajikistan.
- Turkmenenergo State Electric Energy Corporation (TSEEC), a vertically integrated entity managing all state assets in the sector under the Ministry of Energy and Industry in Turkmenistan.
- Uzelektroset, the grid operator that is fully owned by Uzbekenergo in Uzbekistan.