By Dr. James Watson, CEO, SolarPower Europe
Solar power will take centre stage at the Astana Expo 2017, and rightly so, solar is now a mainstream energy source and is forecast to become the primary source of electricity by 2050, supplying more than half of the global electricity capacity.
Our market figures show that in 2016, the global solar capacity reached 305 GW, from around 3 GW in 2007. This is an incredible achievement; no other energy technology has experienced this rate of deployment. Solar power installations are growing year on year, from Australia to Sweden, solar power is a preferred choice.
Solar’s growth is good news for our planet as it can facilitate the transition to a low carbon economy and help fight climate change. As agreed in the Paris Agreement, we need to drastically reduce CO2 emissions to keep temperatures from rising above 1.5 Celsius degrees. Today, solar power is heralded as the most viable solution to address climate change. It is clean and affordable and available today. In fact, solar power generation reduces global CO2 emissions by 200-300 million tons annually, equivalent to the total greenhouse gas emissions in France. Solar is really a technology that can address the dual needs of expanding global energy consumption and decarbonization.
Solar is also seriously inexpensive. Since 2009, the cost of solar power systems has dropped by 75%, and further price reductions are projected. Today solar is cheaper than new fossil fuel capacities in more than 30 countries. Governments across the world recognise this cost-efficient technology that is solar, and have set ambitious targets to increase the deployment of solar power. India has committed to 100 GW by 2022, and China aims to have 150 GW by 2020. The Republic of Kazakhstan, it has set itself clear targets for achieving 3% of the total electricity generated from renewable energy sources including solar by 2020, 10% – by 2030, 50% by 2050.
Solar’s wide ranging possibilities will be demonstrated at the Astana Expo, even featuring space-based solar power! Solar will be used to power the exhibition venue (you can see integrated solar panels on the roof of the main pavilion). SolarPower Europe members will also be present at the conference, displaying impressive state of the art solar applications. Internationally leading boiler manufacturer and manufacturer of systems for industrial energy and cooling, Viessman, will demonstrate an ice storage system powered by solar. ABB (Kazakhstan), the renowned power and automation technology company, will exhibit their work on the ground-breaking solar powered aircraft Solar Impulse.
The future of solar is limitless. Astana EXPO-2017 sets out to showcase some of the most promising developments in the solar power field, if you want a glimpse into the future, it may definitely be worth the visit.
About Astana EXPO 2017
The International Specialized Exhibition Astana EXPO 2017 ‘Future Energy’ will take place between June, 10 and September, 10 2017 in Astana. The exhibition will last 93 days and will become one of the most spectacular cultural venues in 2017. To date, 115 countries and 18 international organizations have confirmed their participation. As part of Astana EXPO 2017, global policy documents will be drafted in order to promote an energy-efficient lifestyle and wide use of renewable energy sources.
Overall, the event expects 5 million people. The visitors will be able to attend over 3 thousand themed and entertainment events.