North and Central Asia countries are rich with energy sources. Energy was a key driver of economic growth in the subregion for several years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In the years after independence, the expansion of conventional energy sources and the initiation of market reforms allowed countries in the subregion to establish a stable energy supply and benefit from energy trade. These efforts created favourable conditions and a conducive environment for restructuring the socioeconomic order. However, challenges remain in terms of energy efficiency, energy security and diversification.
In the past decade, energy transition plans have been set in the national strategies of North and Central Asian countries. Sustainable energy development is imperative in these plans. It must be just and suited to the differing contexts of countries in the subregion. Technological innovation and advancements in energy that drive down renewable energy costs also make sustainable energy development a logical national priority. Countries in the subregion have made efforts to realign their economies to sustainable development principles, and they need to accelerate the current trajectory towards carbon neutrality. As of 2018, renewable energy adoption in the subregion is very low, amounting to approximately 3 per cent of the total energy supply