EXPO 2017 in Astana marks a turning point in the development of energy in the future, combining the efforts of the global community to solve the challenges of our time. Interview with Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the Board at NC Astana EXPO 2017
Why is Astana EXPO 2017 relevant?
The world is at the threshold of a technological revolution in the energy sector due to the falling prices of traditional fossil energy sources. Now more and more attention is paid to green energy. According to the World Energy Council (WEC), renewable sources currently account for over 30% of the total global installed power generation capacity. In the past 10 years, wind and solar PV have witnessed an explosive average annual growth of 23% and 50% respectively.
The theme of Astana EXPO 2017 — “Future Energy” — is as relevant as ever. The exhibition is being held at a time when countries are looking for solutions to the objectives set within COP 21 in Paris and COP 22 in Marrakech. Over 110 countries, including Kazakhstan, ratified the Paris agreement, and many of them have adopted road maps to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the framework of the transition to green technologies.
EXPO 2017 will become not only a powerful impetus for the development of renewable energy, but also a unique platform for international exchange of experiences and ideas, which is extremely important for the implementation of the Marrakech Action Proclamation.
This is one of the reasons why 115 countries and 20 international organizations have confirmed their participation in the exhibition, and its key sponsors are major global companies such as Shell, Samsung, Cisco, GE, DHL, Siemens, Rosatom, etc.
How does the exhibition cover the topic of “Future Energy”?
The topic of EXPO 2017, “Future Energy”, will be fully uncovered with the use of technologies and initiatives in thematic, national and corporate pavilions, where visitors will be able to see the latest developments in the field of renewable energy. The central venue of EXPO 2017 will be the Sphere with the pavilion of Kazakhstan located in it. Eight floors of the world’s largest spherical building will feature different types of energy: space, sun, wind, water, biomass, and kinetic energy.
The most interesting and striking developments in the field of green energy will be presented in the Energy Best Practice Area (eBPa). At this venue 24 projects from 13 countries were specifically selected by the International Selection Committee (ISC) which included, among others, several Nobel Prize winners. The most remarkable projects will include Solar Impulse ─ a solar-powered aircraft project. Last year it completed its first journey around the world, and the whole world observed it.
What will EXPO 2017 business program include?
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit in Astana, which will be held under the chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan, will become a significant event in the lead-up to the opening ceremony of EXPO 2017.
The key event of the International Specialized Exhibition Astana EXPO 2017 The Future Energy Forum, which will last three months, will be. It will be a global venue used by the participants to discuss relevant issues such as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the introduction of energy-saving technologies and ensuring access to reliable power sources for all people.
It is also important to mention the Ministerial Conference “Meeting the challenge of sustainable energy”, World Scientific and Engineering Congress “Energy of the Future: innovative scenarios and methods of their implementation” WSEC-2017, the ХI KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum, and the World Conference on Tourism and Future Energy held by the UNWTO.
Based on the results of EXPO 2017, countries participating in it will sign the Manifesto of Values and Principles following the example of the Kyoto Protocol. The concept of this document, which will become the intellectual legacy of the exhibition, is currently being developed.
Why is Kazakhstan an ideal venue for EXPO 2017?
Despite the fact that Kazakhstan is rich in oil and natural resources, the Republic follows the policy of green energy development, as it has the potential for the widespread use of all types of RES. It is planned to increase the rate of renewable energy sources in the national energy mix to 10% by 2030. By 2050, half of all electric energy generated in Kazakhstan should be green.
I would like to mention that the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, despite being a relatively new city, has already proved to be a major platform for international dialogue. For instance, in 2010 Astana hosted the OSCE Summit. After a 10-year break 56 participating states of the international organization, praising Kazakhstan’s chairmanship, gathered in the heart of Eurasia to discuss security issues from Vancouver to Vladivostok. Kazakhstan has become a platform for the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. In early 2017 Astana acted as an international mediator in resolving the Syrian conflict and hosted three rounds of talks on the issue.
We are confident that EXPO 2017 will be remembered by the global community both as Kazakhstan’s brilliant project and a turning point in the development of future energy.
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.