NUR-SULTAN – President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev instructed the government to increase the share of renewable energies in the country’s total energy grid to 15% by 2030 during the May 26 meeting that reviewed the development of the energy industry in Kazakhstan , reports the Akorda press service.
While renewable energy development has been on the national agenda for some time, this is five percent above the initial target of 10 percent by 2030, due to “new realities and challenges. the current positive dynamic ”.
In 2020, Kazakhstan achieved its target of 3%. Tokayev said that Kazakhstan, with its available resources, should maintain its leading position in the new energy sector in the future.
The share of local content in renewable energy projects must however be increased, which is now “extremely low”, according to Tokayev.
“It is necessary to learn not only to build new sparkling stations, but also to develop local production, science and technology and to train qualified domestic personnel. Otherwise, it turns out that the whole country is investing in foreign products and technologies, paying for them through tariffs, ”he said.
According to him, people should be encouraged to use renewable energy sources. To do this, he proposed to launch pilot projects for the installation of solar panels and micro-power plants as part of the development of smart cities.
“I am a strong supporter of clean energy and green technologies as a whole. I support the construction of power plants using renewable energy sources, ”Tokayev said.
Kazakhstan plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 as part of the country’s strengthened national climate plan, the commitment Tokayev announced at the Climate Ambitions summit in December.
Globally, countries are on the path to decarbonization. EU countries plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and from 2023 the EU will introduce a carbon tax, which can significantly hamper the export of Kazakh products , Tokayev said.
Kazakhstan’s commitment to decarbonization will position the country positively on the international stage.
“It is important to understand that at this stage of global development, the international status, reputation and capabilities of any country will be largely determined by the contribution to the decarbonization of the global economy. In particular, this will be one of the criteria determining the possibility of Kazakhstan’s admission to the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), ”Tokayev said.
The government is working on the concept of low carbon development by 2050, a national project for the development of the electric power industry and the country’s energy balance by 2035.
Many facilities across the country are outdated and in need of a major overhaul.
“A large-scale technical audit of energy sources is needed. We need to clearly understand where and when the launch or disposal of electrical installations, their repair and modernization will take place, ”Tokayev said.
During the meeting, Tokayev highlighted the important role of the electric power industry in the country’s economy. But there is still a lot to do.
“Ensuring energy security is one of the main tasks. The rate of energy consumption in Kazakhstan is increasing year by year. However, the new energy sources that are launched do not match the growth rate. In fact, the development of the country directly depends on the stability of the energy sector, ”Tokayev said.
Efficient use of energy and saving energy remain crucial, Tokayev said, noting that Kazakhstan is one of the most energy-intensive countries in the world.
“Kazakhstan’s economy is three times more energy intensive than that of OECD countries, although most of our GDP is occupied by the service sector. This suggests that the capital and equipment of industrial enterprises do not meet modern standards of the OECD and other advanced countries. There is often an imitation, but not a real modernization of the fixed assets of our industry, ”he said.
Tokayev said fairness and affordability of fares is an issue of economic and social importance. All tariffs were frozen until the end of March in order to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic, but it is not possible to keep them at the same level permanently.
“It’s no secret that any rate increase is usually passed on to businesses and budget organizations first. In some areas, the difference is 400 percent. This not only distorts the market, but also does not create incentives for lean energy consumption. The tasks of energy efficiency and energy intensity reduction are not being met, ”he said.
During the meeting, Tokayev also stressed the importance of nuclear power, which he said should not be written off.
“The entire developed world depends on nuclear power. Phobias have no place here. However, it is necessary to explain it to the people. We will not rush with the construction of nuclear power plants, but we should not be late with it, ”Tokayev said.
What needs to be done?
Tokayev stressed the importance of modernization and the launch of new production capacities and mentioned the Almaty-2 thermal power plant conversion project to gas as an example.
“This issue is of strategic importance. Almaty’s ecology, and of course improving the quality of people’s lives, depends on solving this problem. I instruct the government, the Samruk Kazyna and the city akimat to make a final decision on the modernization of the factory and start it as soon as possible. Any delay is absolutely unacceptable, ”Tokayev said.
He called on the government to attract international investors to develop the energy industry. Negotiations are underway with investors from the United Arab Emirates, France and other European countries.
“The stability of supply and the availability of tariffs are the key elements of national competitiveness. Therefore, it is important that the price of electricity is based on its fair market value, ”he added.
The nation is expected to have high quality specialists who will be ready to study new fields and technologies in the field given the rapid development of the industry. He proposed to create a new energy competence center for this purpose.
“We are talking about a possible breakthrough in the development of hydrogen energy. We must be prepared for such a scenario. It is necessary to have a pool of specialists capable of working with such technologies, ”Tokayev said.