Developing the Potential for Energy Effciency and Alternative Energy in the Kyrgyz Republic

Kyrgyzstan currently does not have enough energy to provide reliable light and heat to its residents and factories. Although the country relies heavily on domestic sources of hydropower for much of its electricity, recent droughts and mismanagement drastically cut these supplies. Kyrgyzstan is increasingly seeking to identify and bring on line new sources of energy.

The country currently imports most of the natural gas, petroleum products and coal that it consumes. At the same time, beyond hydro power, Kyrgyzstan has essentially no alternative energy production.

Kyrgyzstan faces a variety of challenges in developing its energy sector. In the foreign policy sphere, Kyrgyzstan confronts problems that are a consequence of the extremely complex and volatile political landscape in Central Asia. Domestically, issues of economic crisis, organizational dysfunction, poorly written laws, and corruption hinder reform. However, there is encouraging news from Kyrgyz civil society, which is becoming more aware of the importance of carefully using resources. So, while alternative energies make up only a tiny fraction of the overall energy mix, the Kyrgyz people seem ready to change the current situation and make use of the possibilities and advantages alternative energies can offer. Nevertheless, enormous political, economic, and technological challenges lie ahead.