Oil-rich Kazakhstan could get financial help to build wind farms from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Despite trebling oil production in the last decade, Kazakhstan wants to be generating 1 billion kilowatt hours of electricity from renewable sources by 2014 and already has three wind projects under way.
Riccardo Puliti, EBRD managing director and head of energy and natural resources, said: “We are considering two or three projects for an amount of up to €100 million ($133 million) and are still considering whether this will be debt or equity.”
The country’s vast and exposed steppe is seen as having huge wind power potential and for southern regions this would mean less of a reliance on importing electricity from nearby Uzbekistan.
One of the renewables companies keeping a close eye on Kazakhstan’s wind ambitions is Denmark’s Vestas. Andreas Thomas, senior vice-president for business development for Vestas Central Europe, said: “The pure wind potential in Kazakhstan is much, much higher because they have an enormous land mass.”