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The causes of the high energy intensity of the Kazakh economy: A characterization of its energy system


  • Gómez, Antonio
  • Dopazo, César
  • Fueyo, Norberto


The primary energy intensity of Kazakhstan is among the highest in the world. The aim of this paper is to explore, in a quantitative way, the reasons for this condition, and to highlight the opportunities for improvement. To do so, we have developed a detailed ‘bottom-up’ model of the Kazakh energy sector. With this model, we have calculated the potential energy savings on both the demand and supply sides, and for all the economy sectors. This potential is defined as the difference between the current energy consumption in each sector/activity and the energy consumption if best available technologies or energy efficiency standards prevailing in developed countries were adopted in Kazakhstan. We conclude that the main causes of the energy inefficiency in Kazakhstan are: the excessive energy demand of buildings (especially for space heating) in the household and service sector, the inefficiency of the industry sector, particularly in the iron and steel and non-ferrous metals subsectors, the obsolescence of the heating and power generation assets, and the inefficient management of associated gas (flaring and re-injection in oil wells). With current energy efficiency standards prevailing in developed countries, the primary energy consumption in Kazakhstan in 2010 would be reduced by 48.6%, from 75.4 to 38.7 Mtoe.

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  • Gómez, Antonio & Dopazo, César & Fueyo, Norberto, 2014. "The causes of the high energy intensity of the Kazakh economy: A characterization of its energy system," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 556-568.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:71:y:2014:i:c:p:556-568
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:energy:v:149:y:2018:i:c:p:762-778 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Karatayev, Marat & Clarke, Michèle L., 2016. "A review of current energy systems and green energy potential in Kazakhstan," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 491-504.
    3. Perwez, Usama & Sohail, Ahmed & Hassan, Syed Fahad & Zia, Usman, 2015. "The long-term forecast of Pakistan's electricity supply and demand: An application of long range energy alternatives planning," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 93(P2), pages 2423-2435.
    4. Karatayev, Marat & Hall, Stephen & Kalyuzhnova, Yelena & Clarke, Michèle L., 2016. "Renewable energy technology uptake in Kazakhstan: Policy drivers and barriers in a transitional economy," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 120-136.
    5. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Panagiotis, 2015. "Assessing greenhouse gas emissions in Estonia's energy system," MPRA Paper 66105, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Halkos, George & Tzeremes, Panagiotis, 2015. "Scenario analysis on greenhouse gas emissions reduction in Southeast Balkans' energy system," MPRA Paper 65280, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Makpal Assembayeva & Jonas Egerer & Roman Mendelevitch & Nurkhat Zhakiyev, 2017. "A Spatial Electricity Market Model for the Power System of Kazakhstan," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1659, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Gómez, Antonio & Dopazo, César & Fueyo, Norberto, 2016. "The “cost of not doing” energy planning: The Spanish energy bubble," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 434-446.


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