In 21st century almost all devices work with electricity. Electricity makes activity of people easier and more comfortable. Moreover, it plays a great role in development of medicine, science, education, transport and other spheres of human’s life. However, electricity production is becoming more and more problematic because the biggest part of energy for electricity is produced by natural resources, which are neither infinite nor renewable. It means that one day mineral reserves can run out, and, as a result, there will be risk of possible energy crisis. This situation stimulates humanity to transfer to renewable power system. Countries around the world are promoting sustainable energy policies, particularly to reduce greenhouse effect that contributes to severe problems such as Global warming and acid rain (Energy Information Administration (EIA) 2010). The problem of alternative energy source search is also popular in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan is extremely abundant in natural resources, especially in fossil fuels, which are mainly used as energy sources to generate electricity (CIA Factbook 2011). To be more precise, almost 60% of 4.6 billion kilowatt energy that was produced in Kazakhstan in 2008 came from coal, nearly 35 % - from natural gas and oil, 3% of electricity was created by hydro and nuclear electric stations and rest energy was imported from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (EIA 2010). It seems that the electricity production in Kazakhstan is mainly based on coal and other minerals. Therefore it is important to find an alternative source of energy in Kazakhstan to reduce its reliance on coal and to avoid power crisis and other negative effects of non-renewable energy usage. Since the territory of Kazakhstan is located in the "solar belt", the country has a great chance to succeed in solar energy (Dahl and Kuralbayeva 2001). Moreover, there are almost 3000 hours of sunshine per year, while energy from solar radiation is 1500-1800 kW/m2/year (Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) 1997). Despite the very appropriate conditions for realization of solar energy, this resource is little used. So, Kazakhstan should pay attention to the adoption of renewable energy-supply system to the daily life and make a compelling choice between photovoltaic technology of converting sunlight into usable form and concentrated solar thermal plants in an economically and environmentally advantageous way. Hence, this paper will evaluate to what extent is solar energy suitable and viable source of carbon-free energy for Kazakhstan. Also different types of technologies necessary to make the conversion of solar energy into electricity will be examined, particularly concentrated solar power will be considered as a possible solution to the existing situation and possible energy problems in Kazakhstan.
Dependence on coal, oil and gas and other natural resources pose a threat to the future with air pollution, changes in climate and...