Tajikistan possesses comparatively small resources of fossil fuels. In all, 18 oil and gas deposits (Kanibadam, Airitan, Niyazbek, Kichikbel, etc.) and 40 coal deposits (Nazarailok, Shurab, Fan-Yagnob, etc.) are explored and registered in the republic. The oil and gas deposits are small. Coal deposits are sufficient in Tajikistan and make over 4 billion tonnes, but its deposits according to estimates are not efficient for industrial and energy-related use in current conditions. Until the 1990s, from 400 to 800 thousand tonnes of coal were annually mined in the republic, while in recent time 15-20 thousand tonnes, which is less than 5-10% of country’s needs.
The oil and gas industry of the republic is insufficiently developed. The accessible oil- and gas-bearing levels have been almost entirely exhausted by the present time. Production of oil makes 18-20 thousand tonnes annually and production of natural gas 40 million cub.m. Prospected oil resources need a complex deep boring (5-7 km), which is impossible at current stage. The largest gas resources (85%) are accumulated in the south of the republic. According to expert estimates, oil resources are exploited just for 9.5%, those of gas - 3.5%.
In some areas of Tajikistan, fossil fuel production caused deterioration of environmental conditions. Thus, the underground coal mining in Shurab district (northern Tajikistan), after the work was completed and no rehabilitation was carried out, promoted the formation of holes and, consequently, internal destruction of mines and considerable depression of earth surface. On the other hand, the lack of fuel supply caused the intensive forest cuttings in many mountain regions.
Development of nuclear power in the country is problematic because of high seismic risk and other circumstances. Wind energy potential is not sufficiently researched and would require significant investment for equipment and maintenance.
Hydropower resources are abundant and evenly located over the territory of Tajikistan. In terms of hydropower potential, Tajikistan is one of the world leaders. For the time being, only 5% of this potential is being exploited.
Hydropower engineering is the base for the electric energy sector of the country. The total capacity of operating power plants comprises 4,412.7 Megawatts, 93% of which is being produced by hydropower plants. Tajikistan's peak energy production was recorded in the early 1990s, when it reached 17-18 billion kilowatt-hours a year. At present, this has diminished and on average is 15 billion kilowatt-hours.
The biggest hydropower plants in Tajikistan are: Nurek hydropower plant (height of dam is 300 m) with production capacity of 3,000 MW, Baipaza hydropower plant - 600 MW, Golovnaya HPP - 240 MW, Kayrakkum HPP - 126 Megawatts. Small hydropower plants have big prospects. At present, their total capacity is about 30 MW.
Several new big hydropower plants are under planning and construction: Rogun hydropower plant with production capacity at 3,600 (3,000) Megawatts, Sangtuda 1 HPP - 670 Megawatts, Sangtuda 2 HPP - 220 Megawatts and Niznekafarniganskaya - 100 HPP. Once fully operational these hydropower plants will be responsible for doubling the current level of electricity generation.
Dushanbe heat power plant (capacity 198 Megawatts) and Yavan heat power plant (capacity 120 Megawatts) are using natural gas and oil as the basic fuels, which are environmentally safer than thermal stations on solid fuels and emit lesser amount of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It should be mentioned that heat power production in Tajikistan has reduced from 11.3 million gcal in 1991 to 0.77 million gcal in 2000, which is mainly due to economic decline.
The structure of primary energy consumption in Tajikistan has significantly changed. During the period between 1990-1998, the consumption of natural gas decreased somewhere between 10 and 15 times, consumption of liquid fuels decreased by 5-8 times, and the consumption of coal decreased by 400 times. The major consumers of energy resources are: the manufacturing industry, construction, motor vehicles and the residential sector.
Less significant changes have taken place in electricity consumption. In 1992, all sectors of the national economy consumed 17,654 million kilowatt-hours of electric energy, and 15,731 million kilowatt-hours in 2001.
At the same time, there have been substantial changes in the structure of electricity consumption. In 1992, electricity consumption by the manufacturing industry and construction amounted to 9,866 million kilowatt-hours of electric energy, while by 2001 it had decreased to 6,135 million kilowatt-hours. Electricity consumption within the transport sector in the period of 1992-2001 decreased from 82 million kilowatt-hours to 31 million kilowatt-hours. The lack of fossil fuels has been responsible for electricity consumption in residential and agricultural sectors increasing by somewhere between 1.2 and 1.5 times.
At the legislative level, the issues of energy production and use are regulated by the Law on energy, Law on energy saving, Law on nature protection, Law on mineral resources, etc. The Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industry, Tajik Geological Survey, and Ministry for Nature Protection are the major governmental institutions dealing with energy production and use. These institutions manage mineral resources; determine terms and technological parameters of mining; issue mining lease documents and supervise deposit conservation; monitor all terms of natural resource management. The Ministry for Nature Protection regulates sustainable management of energy resources and monitor observance of nature use regulations (emissions, pollution, waste formation) etc.
Last update 03/03/2003