Country overview

The Republic of Tajikistan (Tajikistan) is in Central Asia, bordered by Afghanistan to the south, the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan) to the north, Uzbekistan to the west and China to the east. The country is approximately 143 000 square kilometres (km2) in size with a population of 8 million.

Tajikistan's economy performed strongly in the decade following the end of the civil war in 1997. The agricultural sector is the largest sector of the economy and employs more than 65% of all workers. Real gross domestic product (GDP), measured in US dollars (USD) at purchasing power parity (PPP) was USD 16.6 billion in 2012, an increase of 108% from 2002. Relatively strong economic growth resulted from favourable prices for the country's main export items of cotton and aluminium, as well as remittances from Tajik labourers working abroad. A drop in exports and remittances during the global financial crisis affected Tajikistan, but the economy has since stabilised through help from the international community. In 2016, Tajikistan's GDP totalled Tajikistani somoni (TJS) 54.4 billion, an increase of 6.9% from 2015. However, due to devaluation of the Tajikistani somoni in relation to the US dollar, Tajikistan's GDP expressed in USD has been declining for several years (http://nbt.tj/ru/).

As Tajikistan is endowed with abundant water resources, hydropower is the main source of energy in the country. Tajikistan is home to one of the largest hydropower plants (HPPs) in the Former Soviet Union, the Nurek HPP. More than 5 000 megawatts (MW) of Tajikistan's total 5 700 MW of installed electricity generation capacity relies on hydro (www.barqitojik.tj). The country's other fuel sources are imported oil and gas for residential and industrial use, and coal, which is modest but growing. Tajikistan's full energy resource potential has been relatively unexplored, but coal, oil and gas deposits are estimated to be moderate. 

Despite reasonable energy potential, Tajikistan's energy sector is prone to supply shocks. Electricity shortages during the winter months are standard due to the seasonal availability of water resources, with some end users experiencing shortages up to 70% of the time when conditions are extreme. The country was cut off from the Central Asia Power Grid connection by Uzbekistan's disconnection in 2009, and gas supplies from Uzbekistan to Tajikistan ceased in 2013, amplifying energy supply concerns.

The government's energy policy focuses primarily on providing uninterrupted access to all end users while improving regional co‑operation. The construction of Rogun Dam was deemed feasible by a World Bank study in late 2014, construction of the Rogun HPP recommenced in autumn 2016, and two aggregates are expected to start generating electricity by 2018. Rogun HPP's additional generation will eliminate winter shortages and allow for exports to electricity-hungry markets in  Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation (Russia).

Before Rogun HPP is fully operational (around 2026), the country is committed to improving its energy sector efficiency through network rehabilitation, restructuring (but not yet unbundling) of the state-owned vertically integrated single electricity provider Barqi Tojik, increased production from domestic energy sources (including renewables) and progressive removal of tariff subsidies. These measures will address such energy sector challenges as ageing infrastructure, inefficient operations, mounting debt, and below-cost tariffs (they are among the lowest in the world).

In 2014, Sangtuda 2 HPP (210 MW) became operational, and the coal-fired combined heat and power (CHP) Dushanbe-2 plant (400 MW) entered into service in 2016; the additional capacity will alleviate winter power shortages and diversify the energy fuel mix. Investment in small HPPs by domestic and foreign investors has been strong since 2010, resulting in construction of 300 small HPPs. ​​​​

Significant domestic and foreign investment will be required for continued energy sector development. The government has therefore relaxed investment barriers since 2007 to improve the investment climate, but perceived corruption and a lack of experience with Tajik authorities are stalling foreign investment.​

See also Energy Policies Beyond IEA Countries - Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia 2015

Go to the Sankey Flow of Tajikistan​

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