Chevron and Kazakhstan – two names you wouldn’t expect to see in a renewable energy story, but it seems the oil giant is making a change. According to Reuters, Chevron Corp is planning to invest in a wind power project based in Kazakhstan.
The annoucement came from the Kazakh presidential administration, who quoted visiting Chevron Chief Executive John Watson: “Chevron will invest in the construction of a wind farm and will contribute its share to the development of renewable energy sources in Kazakhstan.”
While all other details about the project are confidential, it marks a major change in policy of Kazakhstan which holds about 3 percent of the world’s recoverable oil reserves. It is the second largest crude producer after Russia, but after the re-election of President Nursultan Nazarbayev it seems that the times are a-changing.
It is because of these oil reserves that renewable energy projects are relatively rare in the country. Now, in addition to the wind project, there are also plans for a nuclear fuel cycle. It seems Kazakhstan also has the world’s second-largest uranium reserves.
Wind energy might be taking off, because as well as Chevron, another consortium involving private equity company Visor Capital and the Turkish subsidiary of Italy’s Relight Group are now exploring a $1 billion investment in two wind farms in the Zhambyl region.
If oil rich countries like Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia are making such changes, hopefully it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world kicks its oil addiction.
Lead image: Jonathan Mcintosh