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In-Depth Analysis of Coal Demand Dynamics in Tajikistan until 2050

Tajikistan coal

UNECE is working on greening the energy sector in accordance with principles of carbon neutrality and just transition. In its efforts it recognizes, however, that the scope and pace of the transformation process has to be aligned with the capabilities and needs of individual member States, taking into account their endowment of natural resources, technological base, cultural heritage, as well as the legal and regulatory structure. Adopting a technology-neutral approach UNECE accepts member States' unique circumstances and does not exclude any of the available solutions that can help with the attainment of the set goals. 

The report In-Depth Analysis of Coal Demand Dynamics in Tajikistan until 2050 was developed upon a request from the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Tajikistan and with support from the UNECE Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation. The substantive guidance was provided by the UNECE Group of Experts on Coal Mine Methane and Just Transition.

This report responds to the question of the extent to which the present strategy of the local coal sector development is consistent with today’s realities. The discussion is based on the estimates of coal demand from the energy sector, industry, and the population of Tajikistan until 2050. The report contains also assessment of the efficiency of coal industry management in the country, an analysis of the price factor (including environmental costs) of coal consumption, as well as of the viability of replacing coal with alternative domestic energy sources, taking into account the local conditions and the principle of energy security of the country.

The report presents the results of a comparative analysis of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of new coal, gas, solar, wind and hydro power plants, and finds out that based solely on that criterion   construction of a coal-fired power plant appears to be the most competitive option. However, after refining the calculation by considering also other factors, such as the indirect costs of greenhouse gas emissions and availability of funds for construction of a power generation unit of each type, the study concludes that despite the apparent short- to mid-term economic attractiveness of the coal option, it is very unlikely that any new coal-fired power plant will be built in Tajikistan. 

The report assesses that the goals for increasing coal production indicated in the current strategic documents of Tajikistan seem to be outdated and appear unlikely to be achieved. It also recommends that the focus of a new coal strategy, if such document is to be developed, is not on achieving record production levels, but rather on ensuring the equitable distribution of natural rents from coal exports, safe working conditions in coal mines, minimizing environmental damage from the coal sector, closing coal mines and reclaiming post-mining areas, as well as proper management of methane emissions from coal mines after their closure.

Study: In-Depth Analysis of Coal Demand Dynamics in Tajikistan until 2050