Day 1 – Energy Connectivity Day

9.30 – 10.00 Opening

Central Asia is a region with vast fossil and renewable energy resources. These resources are, however, distributed unevenly across the region. If developed strategically and shared across the region, they can significantly contribute to the overall emission reduction targets of Central Asian countries and contribute to an affordable energy transition of the sub-region.

Enhancing regional energy connectivity and energy trade through cooperation is a critical factor to achieve the resiliency of the energy system and the energy security in Central Asia. An integrated and interconnected energy system, that encompasses the electricity and gas grid, and is also compatible for transport and trade of low-carbon and green hydrogen, can help create a more reliable, affordable and sustainable energy supply and allow deep decarbonization as well as more effective integration of scaled renewable energy capacity into the energy system. To create such a system, greater funding will have to be directed towards energy infrastructure projects across the region.

This technical discussion with regional energy system stakeholders and representatives from international financing institutions will address how to strengthen the capacity and resiliency of grid infrastructure and direct financing into green energy infrastructure projects across the region.

11.45 – 12.15 Coffee Break

During the Soviet era, the Central Asian countries were interconnected into a single Central Asian Power System (CAPS). But after the collapse of Soviet Union, the CAPS faced numerous challenges that ultimately led to its fragmentation, and a lack of investment in infrastructure and maintenance resulted in power outages in many parts of the region.

Central Asia’s legacy of integration gives it an infrastructure and institutional base upon which it can build a more secure, affordable, and sustainable energy system. From an institutional perspective, regulators have a significant role to play both in the energy transition as well as the development of regional power system connectivity. Regulators are key to ensuring that variable renewable energy resources and connectivity initiatives are developed in the interest of the consumers, and in order to enable the energy transitions at a regional scale in Central Asia regulators must collaborate.

In this session regulators and power system stakeholders will be invited to discuss the regulatory role in energy connectivity and energy transitions, and how to elevate the discussion from a national to a regional discussion.

14.00 – 15.30 Lunch Break

Central Asian countries represent a classic example for exploring the interlinked and often competing inter-sectoral and cross-border claims to common resources. Such claims often create sources of real or likely tensions, but also, at the same time, opportunities for optimizing the shared use of water, energy and food resources in the basin.

Centralized Soviet planning prioritised agricultural production, and in particular the strategic growing of cotton on newly irrigated lands. At the same time, Central Asia as a whole contained sufficient fossil fuel resources to cater the energy needs of the republics. With independence came new challenges, and fuel and energy quickly became commodities less willingly traded for water. The changed use of upstream hydropower had consequences for water access of irrigated agriculture, the importance of which grew even further as regional trade slumped and the countries had to rely more on their own production.

The increasing inter-sectoral and upstream-downstream challenges as well as achievements that have developed over the past 30 years indicate that significant benefits can be reaped from a strengthened cooperation among the different sectors and countries. A more integrated energy system can help countries co-optimize the use of water use resources at regional level, thereby increasing the resiliency of energy, water, and food production systems.

In this session energy and water sector stakeholders will be invited to discuss the interdependency of energy production and water resources, as well as its challenges and opportunities at the national and regional levels.

17.30 – Wrap up of Day 1

18.30 – Reception (TBC)

Day 1 - Technical Workshops:

U.S. EPA global methane data indicate that the countries of Central Asia substantially contribute to global methane emissions. For instance, Kazakhstan is the world’s 8th largest coal producer (2020 data) and 11th largest oil producer. Similarly, Uzbekistan is 18th largest natural gas producer and 16th largest methane emitter (considering all sectors). To enable energy transitions at a regional scale in Central Asia, regulators must collaborate across countries and engage in regional dialogue to share experiences, harmonize regulation, and ensure institutional capacity raises to meet the demands of climate mitigation and clean energy systems of the future.

In this session regulators and power system stakeholders will be invited to discuss options for methane policies, learn from case studies in other countries, and discuss opportunities for success in the national context. From the discussions, partners will share existing experiences in the region and potentially identify concrete new options for methane policies.

[To be developed by UNDP]


Central Asia boasts plentiful critical raw materials necessary for the shift towards low-carbon energy but requires improved management. Kazakhstan has the world’s largest uranium reserves as well as chromium that is needed for wind turbines and extensive lithium deposits needed for batteries. Uzbekistan has proven copper reserves, and deposits of silver, molybdenum, selenium, cadmium, lithium. Tajikistan has one of the largest proven reserves of zinc and vast reserves of aluminium, silver, copper, zinc and lead. Central Asia collectively has 38% of global manganese reserves, 30% of chromium, 20% of lead, 13% of zinc, 9% of titanium, 6% of aluminium, 5% of copper, 5% cobalt and 5% of molybdenum

The United Nations Resource Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC) and the United Nations Resource Management System (UNRMS) can facilitate sustainable resource development in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. The session will highlight successful implementation examples, best practices, challenges, and opportunities for adoption.

11.30 – 12.00 Coffee Break

Central Asia is a region with vast fossil and renewable energy resources. During the Soviet era, the Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan heavily relied on development of fossil fuels, specifically coal and oil and gas production, for their energy needs.

To a large extent, policies in the former Soviet countries are designed around supporting fossil fuel development, including through the use of subsidies and other incentives. This session explores how incentives could be used for reducing methane waste and emissions to the atmosphere.

14.00 – 15.30 Lunch break

A “just transition” is an integrated approach to sustainable development, which brings together social progress, environmental protection and economic success into a framework of democratic governance. Effective “just transition” strategies require local, bottom-up participation of all affected stakeholders and commitment by the governments to guarantee their buy-in and provide planning security. In addition, “just transition” policies will also be needed to mitigate the risks to jobs and livelihoods during the transition to a more sustainable future.

Building and maintaining resilient and carbon neutral energy systems in Central Asia will require innovation and new skills. Universities will play a key role here to develop human capital and close the skills gap across the region to deliver on energy transition.

This session will bring together university representatives and policymakers to explore how to overcome the barriers and identify solutions to foster the next generation of energy experts across Central Asia.

Day 2 Technical Workshops:

10.30 – 13.30 Workshop for Electricity Grid Regulators

14.30 – 15.30 Annual Meeting of the SPECA Working Group on Water, Energy and Environment

Day 3 – Technical Workshops and Study Tours

Day 3 - Technical Workshops:

The United Nations Development Account (UNDA) project “Strengthening Energy Policies of Countries with Special Needs to Build Back Better from COVID-19” is being implemented jointly by UNESCAP (lead) and UNECE. The objective of this programme is to improve the capacity of policymakers by supporting them in developing SDG 7 Roadmaps which enable the delivery of both the sustainable energy transition and the economic recovery from COVID-19. The participating eight countries (Armenia, Brunei Darussalam, Federated States of Micronesia, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Mongolia, Timor-Leste, and Uzbekistan) are at different stages of Roadmap development, and one country (Kiribati) has completed its Roadmap.

This inter-regional seminar is intended to allow countries that have participated in the roadmap development process to share their lessons learned and best practices through regional dialogue. It will be attended by representatives from the participating countries. Interested participants from other countries in the region and energy experts and professionals are welcome to join.

10:00 – 12:00 Study Tour of KBTU University