GCF commits $110m to Kazakhstan renewables

The fund’s contribution to the EBRD’s framework for the country was the largest of 11 projects GCF backed at its meeting this week.

The Green Climate Fund, a South Korea-based vehicle formed in 2010 to battle climate change, approved $110 million for an initiative aimed at integrating renewable energy into Kazakhstan’s power sector.

The contribution to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s renewables framework for Kazakhstan was the largest of 11 commitments – worth a combined $393 million – made at GCF’s board meeting in Cairo this week. The €200 million framework approved in December 2016 supports investments in wind, solar, hydropower and biogas energy sources, as Kazakhstan looks to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.

“We are contributing to global efforts under the Paris Agreement to address climate change,” said Kazakhstan energy minister Kanat Bozumbayev. “The country has set an ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution, under the agreement, with an emissions reduction target of 15 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.”

The GCF’s contribution includes $106 million in concessional finance and $4 million in technical assistance grants. The fund, which in April approved eight projects worth $755 million, was established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and has funded $2.59 billion worth of projects and programmes.

The EBRD has emphasised investments in clean energy in Kazakhstan, its second-largest country of operation by volume and one which relies on coal for 72 percent of its power, investing €1.7 billion in the sector. In June, the EBRD invested $44.5 million in the 50MW Burnoye Solar-2 project.