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TASHKENT (TCA) — Uzbekistan plans to build 25 solar power plants with a capacity of 100 megawatts (MW) by 2030, with the first one to be completed in two years, Xinhua news agency reported citing an Uzbek energy official.

Uzbekistan will start construction of the country's first 100 MW solar power plant in the Navoi region this year, Sherzod Khadjaev, deputy energy minister, told Uzbek state TV on April 1.

He said the country plans to complete the construction within two years, and that another 24 such power plants are planned to be built by 2030.

The government of Uzbekistan and SkyPower Global announced in 2018 the signing of a landmark solar power purchase agreement under which SkyPower Global will invest 1.3 billion U.S. dollars to build 1,000 MW of solar energy generation capacity throughout the country.

Khadjaev said that the country will produce 67.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity this year and expects the figure will reach 120 billion kWh in 2030.

The total potential of solar energy in Uzbekistan exceeds the equivalent of 51 billion tons of oil, according to expert estimates.

Uzbekistan also reached a deal with Russia in 2018 to build the country's first nuclear power plant.

In power generation, Uzbekistan remains heavily dependent on coal- and natural gas-burning power plants, but the country aims to increase the share of renewable energy generation in the coming years.

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