Energy supply has increased by 11.5 percent since 2000, albeit with some volatility as Chart 1 shows. Total primary energy supply (TPES) in Tajikistan was 2.4 million tonnes of oil-equivalent (Mtoe) in 2011. Over the past decade, the reliance on gas has fallen while the supply of coal and oil has grown. Energy from coal has increased by eight-fold from practically zero supply in 2000 to 0.1 Mtoe in 2011, while the supply of oil has tripled to 0.6 Mtoe in 2011.
Chart 1 Electricity consumption in households, rural settlements of the republic
Currently district heating systems exist only in Dushanbe and the region of Yavan. The Dushanbe district heating system is comprised of a Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP) and a number of boiler houses. Several of those heat generation facilities are obsolete and require rehabilitation. In the past, the Yavan CHP supplied heat to residents, but the CHP is no longer operational. The heat transmission and distribution network includes 125 km of heat supply mains and 414 km of other pipes. A lack of maintenance has resulted in heat losses ranging between 40-50 percent. As a result of the absence of district heating, residents of many multi-apartment buildings and houses have removed in-house pipes and radiators.
Since the country’s independence in 1991, there have been substantial changes in energy supply. A Civil War erupted in 1992, ending with a peace agreement in 1997. During this period, prolonged electricity outages occurred, and the supply of coal was temporarily interrupted in some areas. The Central Asian Power System (CAPS) continued to function through the early 2000s, but the coal price continued to rise and natural gas became more expensive. As political relations with Uzbekistan began to deteriorate—largely due to disputes over the sharing of water resources—imports of gas and electricity from Uzbekistan fell substantially.
Chart 2 Energy consumption per capita in the republic
The Tajik power system earlier consisted of two separate parts. The northern part of the country had limited supply but a large demand, covered mainly by energy supply from northern Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. The southern part of the country generated most of the energy, and this part was connected to southern Uzbekistan. Since the collapse of the CAPS, the two parts have now been interconnected, with completion of Khujand- Regar 500 kV line (North- South interconnection).
Over the last decade, Tajikistan had an annual electricity demand of between 16,000 and 17,000 GWh, reaching its maximum during the record cold winter of 2007. Residential end-users consume close to 45 percent of domestically supplied electricity. In the past, heating demand of around 35 percent of urban households was met with centralized heat supply systems run on natural gas and/or fuel oil. However, most of the households have switched to electricity-based heating using electric heaters. Some households are using custom-made stoves that run on coal or firewood.
Chart 3 Electricity consumption in households, urban areas of the republic
The aluminium smelter TALCO accounts for 40 percent of demand, which has reduced in the past couple of years to about one third of the total demand. While TALCO’s demand is relatively constant throughout the year, the demand of residential customers, the government, and other commercial customers is the highest in winter when low temperatures and short daylight periods increase the demand for heating and lighting. The electricity demand of the agricultural sector is largely restricted to the summer months when water-intensive crops such as cotton require irrigation. In summers, Tajikistan spills water without passing through turbines, as there is limited demand and in winters, it tries to generate maximum power, which is limited due to water inflows and the storage capacity of the Nurek reservoir. In the absence of import sources and shifting of demand for district heating to electricity, the shortfall is expected to continue for a long time, unless significant investments are undertaken.