Russian state-owned energy giant Inter RAO is now discussing electricity supplies to Kazakhstan as crypto miners have allegedly caused a spike in consumption this year. The country expects the power deficit to reach 600 megawatts as demand increases during the winter season even more.
Kazakhstan is likely to buy electricity from the Russian Federation to deal with the shortage
A high-ranking representative told reporters that Inter RAO, a major producer of electricity in Russia, is in talks about the possibility of supplying electricity to Kazakhstan from November. Alexandra Panina, a member of the company’s management, explained that the consumption growth in Kazakhstan is about 7%, noting that for the first time the country faces a deficit in the cold winter months. Interfax quoted her as saying:
I am now discussing the possibility of a commercial supply of Russian electricity to Kazakhstan in November.
Panina added that the shortage in Kazakhstan is expected to reach 600 megawatts when demand peaks during the upcoming winter season, and it is estimated that the deficit may exceed 1 gigawatts in the future. It also revealed that Inter RAO is reviewing a request from Kyrgyzstan for additional supplies through the Kazakhstan network.
Cryptocurrency miners are moving to the Central Asian country that has been attracted by low energy rates amid an ongoing crackdown on the industry in China. Authorities in Nur-Sultan announced last week that electricity consumption rose to nearly 83 billion kilowatt-hours in the first nine months of the year, noting that miners were primarily responsible for the increase.
Russia blames Kazakhstan’s booming crypto-mining sector for supply issues
Alexandra Panina cited two main reasons for Kazakhstan’s current problems. It believes that the ceiling on electricity prices has led to insufficient investments in modernizing and developing the country’s infrastructure and exciting generation capabilities. After that, cheap electricity brought many miners to the country that was not ready for the influx. The Russian energy official stressed that the miners had become a major problem for Kazakhstan.
The law prohibits electricity imports into Kazakhstan unless the national grid operator KEGOC indicates that there is a risk of a power shortage, which is exactly the case now. This makes it possible to obtain electric power from the neighboring Russian Federation.
Earlier this month, during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said his ministry was concerned about Kazakhstan’s electricity shortage, caused by the massive energy extraction of digital currencies, among other factors, that had not been planned. .
Shulginov complained in the Kremlin: “This affects the operation of our power plants, because, firstly, they are used – in inefficient modes, and secondly – we often have to quickly turn them on.” Alexandra Panina emphasized that the issue had reached a “serious political level” and called for it to be returned to the commercial sphere, while hinting that Russia might raise export rates to Kazakhstan.
Do you think Kazakhstan will have to buy electricity from Russia to meet the growing demand from crypto miners? Tell us in the comments section below.
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