Energy Policy, Vol.44, 130-139, 2012
Coping with the energy crisis: Impact assessment and potentials of non-traditional renewable energy in rural Kyrgyzstan
The Kyrgyz energy sector is characterised by a dramatic energy crisis that has deprived a substantial part of the population from access to energy. Non-traditional renewable energy sources have emerged as a promising alternative in providing basic energy services to the rural poor. Based on qualitative interview data from local households and project planners, this study sets out to assess impacts, limitations and barriers of non-traditional renewable energy projects in rural areas in Kyrgyzstan. This study argues that recent renewable energy efforts from multilateral international agencies, the private sector, and nongovernmental organisations exhibit great potential in creating tangible benefits and improving basic energy services, but have so far been inefficient in establishing and replicating sustainable and long-term energy solutions. Existing practices need to be improved by attaching greater importance to the capacities and real needs of the rural poor. The guidance of integrated programmes and policies along with alternative financing schemes and awareness-raising are urgently needed to leverage local success stories and to facilitate a sustainable energy development in rural Kyrgyzstan. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.