Uzbekistan has become the fifth country to join Scaling Solar, expanding the World Bank Group program beyond the African continent for the first time.
Uzbekistan is looking to develop up to 1 gigawatt of solar power and has decided to use the Scaling Solar approach to tender an initial 100 megawatts. The Government of Uzbekistan signed a solar power mandate with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, in May 2018 and has now issued a request for proposals using the Scaling Solar approach.
“We are delighted to see Scaling Solar expand to Central Asia with this announcement,” said Philippe Le Houérou, IFC’s CEO. “Scaling Solar has successfully crowded in private investment in sub-Saharan Africa’s renewables market and its comprehensive and templated approach has enormous potential in Uzbekistan and other markets.”
So far, Scaling Solar is supporting the development of more than 1.5 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic power in Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Madagascar. The program offers competitive bidding and simplified procurement for grid-tied photovoltaic power, even in small markets. It provides a package of transaction structuring advice, standardized project documents, risk management products, financing, and insurance by World Bank Group institutions including IBRD, IFC, and MIGA.
Uzbekistan is highly dependent on natural gas, which accounts for 82% of the country’s electricity generation. The government aims to develop the renewable energy sector to diversify the country’s energy mix and attract private investment.
“Developing renewable energy in Uzbekistan is crucial to diversifying our power supply,” said Alisher Sultanov, Minister of Energy of Uzbekistan. “We are looking forward to working with private sector developers participating in Scaling Solar to develop our solar power resources quickly and at low costs.”
The project is located in the Navoi region in southwestern Uzbekistan. 11 bidders have already been pre-qualified and invited to submit their proposals. Results are expected by Q3 2019. The project is being implemented with support from the Ministry of Finance in Austria and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
About Scaling Solar
Scaling Solar is a World Bank Group solution that makes it easier for governments to quickly procure and develop large-scale solar projects with private financing. It includes a ‘one-stop shop package of technical assistance, templated documents, pre-approved financing, insurance products, and guarantees. Scaling Solar has financing support of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, the UK’s Department for International Development, USAID’s Power Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.