According to many world experts who visited EXPO 2017, Kazakhstan has a chance to accelerate the start of a turning point in the development of the green economy. What kind of groundwork has been done and what the International Green Technologies and Investment Center, created this year by the order of the President of Kazakhstan, is currently working on explains the head of this Center, Rapil Zhoshybayev.
In 2012 President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed “The Global Energy and Environmental Strategy”, which concerns energy, water resources, reducing environmental pollution, preserving and effectively managing ecosystems. Taking into account the trends of sustainable development, another initiative of the Head of State – the Green Bridge Partnership Program was approved at the global level in the outcome document of the World Summit on Sustainable Development Rio + 20. Today 16 countries participate in it, and one of the tasks of the Center is to continue work on the Program at a qualitatively new level.
To diversify the economy, ensure competitiveness and evade the dependence on raw materials, Kazakhstan, the first in the CIS, created institutional conditions for the transition to the green economy. In 2007, the Environmental code, in 2009, the Law “On supporting the use of renewable energy sources”, in 2013 – the Concept of Transition to a Green Economy with Target Indicators were adopted. So, by 2050 it is planned to increase the share of renewable energy in the energy balance up to 50% and to achieve the same indicator for recycling and disposal of waste. It should be noted that by the end of 2017, the level of net electricity generation was 1%, while more than 80% belong to thermal generation.
The Astana EXPO-2017 international exhibition under the motto “Energy of the Future” gave a powerful impetus to the transformations aimed at changing the energy structure and rational resource consumption in Kazakhstan. It was attended by 115 countries and 22 international organizations. According to the results of the exhibition, over 100 advanced technologies and developments in the field of fuel and energy, waste management and ecology were selected for implementation.
In preparation for the EXPO-2017, during negotiations and meetings with representatives of business circles of foreign countries, many of them stressed their interest in the emergence in Kazakhstan of a single operator that will provide legal and technical support to potential investors and business projects in the field of green economy. In September 2015, speaking at the 70th anniversary session of the UN General Assembly, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev offered to open in Astana, on the basis of the infrastructure and EXPO legacy, the International Green Technologies and Investments Center. This step was a logical continuation of the active position of Kazakhstan on the decarbonization of the economy and the introduction of the principles of sustainable development.
In May 2018, the Center was presented within the framework of the XI Astana Economic Forum. Its main function is to promote a green culture and solve environmental problems through the development of green technologies in the Republic of Kazakhstan with the subsequent dissemination of best practices in the countries of the Central Asian region.
In the international field of activity communication and contacts are established with leading foreign organizations and companies operating in the field of “green technologies”.
In particular, the Center held meetings with the heads of such organizations in China, Japan, South Korea, Turkey, EU countries, USA, United Arab Emirates, Belgium and Finland. Agreements on mutual cooperation were reached. A number of agreements have been signed with foreign companies and similar green centers with the possibility of implementing joint projects with the transfer of the latest technologies.
In the framework of the global program for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, we intend to cooperate with such major international organizations and financial institutions as the UN, OSCE, IRENA, EBRD, World Bank, ADB and others.
For example, jointly with research centers in China, United States and Europe we plan to open a laboratory in Kazakhstan on remote probing and digitalization of the earth with the collection and processing of data from satellites. The possibilities of partnership with the Center for Green Technologies of South Korea in the framework of the “Program for the Development of Economic Cooperation with the Northern Territories” are being considered.
According to the interstate program “One Belt, One Road”, joint work is carried out with the State Committee for Development and Reforms of China, accompanied by projects for the transfer of large-scale production to Kazakhstan.
The implementation of the global project “Silk Road Super Grid” with the export of clean energy from Kazakhstan to the countries of the region will be a practical continuation of the ideas of the International Specialized Exhibition Astana – EXPO-2017.
One of the main activities of the Center is the promotion and attraction of investments in “green” projects in Kazakhstan, creation of comfortable conditions for investors, including guarantees of capital repayment. Since foreign investors are interested in the emergence of a reliable partner in Kazakhstan and the region of Central Asia, we will work on the principle of “one window”. We are currently assisting with the construction project of a wind farm with a capacity of 42 MW in the Mangystau region, installation of solar panels on buildings in Astana, and joint production of solar panels.
At the domestic level, we offer partnerships in sustainable development issues – from “green” energy, energy efficiency and energy conservation, to solid waste management, housing and utilities, including coordination, scientific and technical support as a center of competence and expertise.
To this end, for participants in the transition to a green economy, the Center is developing a digital database. It includes a regional “green project map”, a register of best available technologies, a wind, hydro and geothermal, solar map of Kazakhstan. These tools will help to systematize and accelerate the implementation of green projects.
Taking into account the policy aimed at decarbonization and sustainable development proclaimed by the country’s leadership, attracting the best and most efficient technologies, the Center aims to achieve Kazakhstan’s leading position on the development of a green economy in the region of Central Asia.
We are also interested in the experience of Romania in increasing the share of “green energy” and promoting new technologies, so taking this opportunity, I invite Romanian companies to cooperate with the Center.