Energy landscape of the Focus Countries
The EU4Energy Focus Countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia cover a wide geographic area of about 5 million square kilometres, stretching from the Baltics to China, and bounded by Russia, the Middle East and South Asia, with a population totalling 140 million.
The region is a key area for energy development and investment, bridging Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Eastern Europe. The programme’s 11 countries include major oil and natural gas production, significant hydropower resources, substantial coal reserves as well as nuclear power.
The Caspian region has some of the world’s top oil and gas reserves – including the giant fields of Absheron, Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli and Shah Deniz in Azerbaijan; Karachaganak, Kashagan and Tengiz in Kazakhstan; Galkynysh, Shatlyk, South Gutliyak and South Iolotan in Turkmenistan; and Gazli, Kokdumalak, Shakhpakhty and Shurtan in Uzbekistan. Kazakhstan and Ukraine also possess large coal deposits, while Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia have ample hydro resources, though little is used for power generation.
While the Caspian and Black Sea regions are also rich in unconventional oil and gas reserves, only Ukraine and Uzbekistan have started exploiting their shale potential. Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus operate nuclear power infrastructure, inherited from the Soviet Union past, and are considering nuclear capacity expansions. The contribution of renewables remains marginal across the regions, hindered mainly by the sector’s inability to attract investors due to price competition from other sources.
In addition, the region’s potential for energy efficiency improvements is vast and remains largely untapped in all the reviewed countries. While energy consumption in the region is moderate, it is growing as standard of living and economic prospects improved after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Government policies on energy consumption and the energy mix are key to determining volumes available for export and energy export policies. Some countries in the region have set ambitious goals for renewable energy and diversification, principally Kazakhstan with its goal for a 50% share of alternative and renewable sources in its primary energy mix by 2050.
Countries party to the Russian-led Customs Union are increasingly considering adding additional nuclear capacity. Azerbaijan has managed to lower the energy intensity in all sectors of its economy by replacing oil with natural gas and installing more efficient technologies in electricity production.
While each country has its unique energy mix and development process, they all face some similar challenges in bringing evidence-based policy to their energy sector. EU4Energy hopes to assist all governments in developing sustainable and measurable medium-to-long-term energy policies, with a special emphasis on improving the quality and use of energy data.