Water supply projects based on solar energy being implemented in Turkmenistan's desert

Oil&Gas Materials 15 January 2020 15:35 (UTC +04:00)
Water supply projects based on solar energy being implemented in Turkmenistan's desert

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Jan. 15

By Huseyn Hasanov – Trend:

Demonstration projects for water supply based on solar energy have been implemented in central Karakum Desert area including villages of Bori in Geokdepe district, Yel and Bashkak in Ak bugday district of the Akhal region in Turkmenistan, Trend reports with reference to the website of the UN Development Program (UNDP).

Solar power supply systems with total electric capacity of 10 kW have been installed to encourage local population to use clean energy instead of diesel-driven power generators to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with water pumping in three remote villages, according to the report.

The Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy for Sustainable Water Management in Turkmenistan project is being implemented by UNDP jointly with the Turkmen State Committee on Water Management and is financed by Global Environment Facility (GEF).

These pilot facilities are expected to benefit about 1,200 residents, who currently collect atmospheric condensation for drinking and cattle breeding purposes.

“Introduction of small sized renewable energy installations in remote
and sparsely populated areas is economically beneficial due to high cost of construction of power transmission lines,” noted Geldi Myradov, UNDP/GEF project manager.

Local population of Bori, Yel and Bashkak villages is employed mostly in desert cattle breeding of sheep and camels. To water their livestock, shepherds collect atmospheric condensation and rainwater from rooftops accumulating in special receptacles near each home and transport water by car to the gazing fields.

The prolonged storage of water leads to the deterioration of its hygienic quality, which over time negatively affects human health, the report said.

The situation is worsened by the fact of absence of the electricity to filter and clean the collected water for further use, which forces locals to use diesel generator only few hours per day.

Since deficit of water at home creates hurdles for females who primarily manage the households, constant water supply through solar powered systems will help improve sanitation and health conditions in the village.

It is anticipated that these pilots will be replicated across the country to cut the use of diesel for power generation boosting new livelihood opportunities for local communities.

Turkmenistan is rich in solar energy and desert sand, which contains silicon. The country aims to export silicon, which is the basic chemical element for the creation of equipment that allows obtaining environmentally friendly electricity, to the global market.

Local scientists talk about the possibilities of using solar energy in transport facilities, the economic efficiency of using renewable energy sources, the development of automation systems for alternative energy sources, and the potential for obtaining thermal energy from used deep wells.

In Turkmenistan, the duration of a sunny day reaches 16 hours in July, and the energy of the sun's rays falling on one square meter is 800 watts. There are about 300 sunny days a year in the country, and the duration of sunny days reaches 2,500-3,000 hours.