Aluminum   $ 2.1505 kg        |         Cobalt   $ 33.420 kg        |         Copper   $ 8.2940 kg        |         Gallium   $ 222.80 kg        |         Gold   $ 61736.51 kg        |         Indium   $ 284.50 kg        |         Iridium   $ 144678.36 kg        |         Iron Ore   $ 0.1083 kg        |         Lead   $ 2.1718 kg        |         Lithium   $ 29.821 kg        |         Molybdenum   $ 58.750 kg        |         Neodymium   $ 82.608 kg        |         Nickel   $ 20.616 kg        |         Palladium   $ 40303.53 kg        |         Platinum   $ 30972.89 kg        |         Rhodium   $ 131818.06 kg        |         Ruthenium   $ 14950.10 kg        |         Silver   $ 778.87 kg        |         Steel Rebar   $ 0.5063 kg        |         Tellurium   $ 73.354 kg        |         Tin   $ 25.497 kg        |         Uranium   $ 128.42 kg        |         Zinc   $ 2.3825 kg        |         
Image source: pixelied.com / pixabay.com

Central Asia is experiencing a surge in green energy investments, with recent weeks marking a significant turning point in the region’s renewable energy landscape. ACWA Power, a prominent Saudi Arabian energy company, made headlines in early March by announcing plans to invest in two wind power plants in Uzbekistan’s Karakalpakstan and Bukhara regions, totaling over 1GW of power capacity. Following suit, Kazakhstan inked agreements for 1GW of wind power development in its Jetisu region, signaling a concerted effort towards sustainable energy initiatives.

However, it’s the realm of critical raw materials that has garnered the most attention in Central Asia’s green energy transition. Kazakhstan, hailed as a lithium powerhouse, secured agreements worth $500 million from German stakeholders for lithium extraction, with keen interest also emanating from South Korea and China. These investments underscore the pivotal role of the extractives industry in facilitating the global shift towards renewable energy sources and energy storage solutions.

While Kazakhstan takes center stage, neighboring Turkmenistan emerges as a potential powerhouse in the green energy ecosystem. Acknowledging its rich reserves not only in oil and gas but also in renewables, Turkmenistan is positioning itself as a key player in the transition towards sustainable energy. The recent Turkmen Investment Forum in Paris highlights the nation’s efforts to attract international attention and investment, signaling its readiness to follow Kazakhstan’s trajectory in resource development.

Despite Turkmenistan’s vast potential, challenges persist, particularly regarding the lack of comprehensive data on reserves, posing risks to investors and hindering investment opportunities. However, Western Turkmenistan, notably the Karabogazgol Bay area, shows promising signs of abundant lithium deposits, along with substantial reserves of iron, copper, and rare earth metals. Geological formations in Southern Turkmenistan also hold significant potential for copper and rare earth materials, essential for electricity grids and digital technologies.

Approach Recommendations – Stakeholder Map: To unlock Turkmenistan’s potential as a champion in renewable energy and digital materials, several policy recommendations are proposed:

  • Align regulatory frameworks for non-fuel mining with hydrocarbons mining to streamline permit procedures and encourage long-term leasing options.
  • Foster international collaboration with neighboring countries like Uzbekistan and Afghanistan to leverage shared geological formations for critical raw materials.
  • Establish financing mechanisms for sustainable development projects, such as green bonds, to attract investments aligned with economic, environmental, and societal goals.
  • Develop a transparent database of Turkmenistan’s mineral reserves accessible to investors and scientific explorers to enhance investment transparency and promote informed decision-making.