In recent years, Kyrgyzstan's electricity consumption has been lower than the global average, with a total of around 254 watts per person in 2021 versus the global average of 412 watts per person. Of this, over 90% (approximately 227 watts per person) is generated from low-carbon sources, specifically hydropower. Fossil energy consumption is relatively low at nearly 26 watts per person, of which about 24 watts is produced from non-renewable coal resources. This low level of electricity generation may impact Kyrgyzstan's ability to boost economic development and improve living standards. However, it is notable that despite the lower overall electricity consumption, the country has maintained a strong commitment to low-carbon energy, which is crucial in mitigating climate change and enhancing environmental sustainability. Meanwhile, net imports of electricity account for only a fraction—around 0.34%—of Kyrgyzstan's total electricity consumption.
To increase low-carbon electricity generation, Kyrgyzstan could learn from other countries that have successfully expanded their nuclear, wind and solar energy sectors. The country could consider investing in nuclear energy like Sweden, France, and Finland—countries with high per capita nuclear energy production. Although Kyrgyzstan's geographic and climatic conditions differ from those countries, the adoption of nuclear energy could still offer a viable option to significantly boost its low-carbon electricity production. It would need to address the challenges of infrastructural development, technology transfer, and safety regulations, among others. Additionally, other countries such as Denmark, Sweden, and Norway have made significant advancements in wind energy, which Kyrgyzstan could potentially harness given its windy locales.
Analysing the historical changes in Kyrgyzstan's low-carbon electricity reflects a dependency on hydropower dating back decades. In the early 1990s, there was a significant decrease in hydroelectricity generation, with a nearly 1 TWh drop in 1992. However, this was quickly rectified with an increase of 2.6 TWh in 1994. Over the years, the country has experienced a series of fluctuations in hydroelectricity production. The early 2000s, specifically between 2001 to 2002, saw a reduction in hydroelectricity generation. On a positive note, there were several instances of notable increases, such as in 2011 when hydroelectricity production increased by 3 TWh. Despite some declines, one can observe a general persistence in relying on hydropower as a major source of low-carbon electricity. The most recent data from 2021, however, indicates a drop in hydroelectricity production suggesting a need to explore and employ more diverse and reliable sources of clean energy.