International Energy Advisory Council

Astana Expo 2017 Future Energy Forum

Thursday 13 July 2017

The International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC) partner in Astana EXPO 2017 Future Energy Forum, a series of twelve conferences, 29 June–5 September 2017.

Allan Jones MBE, President/Chair, International Energy Advisory Council - 11 July 2017

- Kazakhstan
    - Fossil Fuels and Nuclear
    - The Electricity Grid
    - Renewable Energy
    - Energy Efficiency
    - Waste
- The Future Energy Forum
- Astana EXPO 2017
- TRIAD Berlin
- International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC)
- Manifesto of Values and Principles
- International Energy Advisory Council Manifesto Advice
- Presentations by IEAC Members


Kazakhstan, a Central Asian country and former Soviet republic, extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Alta Mountains at its eastern border with China and Russia. Kazakhstan is the world’s largest landlocked country and the ninth largest in the world, with an area of 2.724 million km2 (1,052 miles2). It has a population of 18 million people and given its large land area, its population density is among the lowest in the world, at less than 6 people per km2 (15 people per mile2).

The capital is Astana, where it was moved in 1997 from Almaty, the country’s largest city. Kazakhstan was the last of the Soviet republics to declare independence during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The current President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, has been leader of the country since then.

Kazakhstan’s 131 ethnicities include Kazakhs (63% of the population), Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars and Uyghurs. Islam is about 70% of the population, with Christianity practised by 26%.

Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Energy

Kazakhstan is the dominant nation of Central Asia economically, generating 60% of the region’s GDP, primarily through its oil/gas industry. It is a major producer of oil, gas and coal, as well as being the largest producer and exporter of uranium ore in the world. However, due to falling oil prices export revenue from oil and gas has declined by 35% since 2015.

Domestic electricity production is around 94 billion kWh with 81% from coal, 8% from gas and 8% from hydro. 75% of electricity is consumed by industry, 11% by households and 2% by transportation.

There are no nuclear power plants operating in Kazakhstan. The country’s only nuclear power plant located near Aktau, ceased generating in 1999 after 26 years of operation and was decommissioned in 2001.

The Electricity Grid

The three electricity networks that constitutes the grid are connected in northern Kazakhstan to the Russian electricity grid and in southern Kazakhstan to the United Energy System of Central Asia. However, the fall of the Soviet Union caused the end of this model as countries in the region sought to increase self-sufficiency. Kazakhstan invested heavily in new thermoelectric power plants but did little to modernize transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The consequence of the centralized and inflexible system is that the grid infrastructure regularly registers efficiency losses of between 15% and 33%, 7 TWh in 2012, equivalent to the total electricity consumption of Latvia. Power generation installed capacity is 19.8 GW, but available capacity is only around 15 GW and despite imports from other countries brownouts are not infrequent in Almaty or Astana.

About 87% of electricity generation in Kazakhstan is owned by the private sector. Of the 21 electricity distribution companies, only two remain state-owned. The national transmission and dispatch system is operated by the Kazakhstan Electricity Grid Operating Company (KEGOC), which is owned by the Kazakhstan National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna.

Due to its extreme winter climate, heating for much of the country comes from centralized coal-fired cogeneration plants and district heating networks owned by local public sector entities.

Renewable Energy

Kazakhstan has enormous renewable energy potential, particularly from wind, hydropower and solar plants. The country has the potential to generate 10 times as much electricity as it currently needs from wind energy alone. However, non-hydro renewable energy accounts for just 0.6% of electricity generating plants.

Notwithstanding this, Kazakhstan has set itself targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 15% and 25% below the 1990 level by 2030 and to increase the share of renewable electricity generation to 3% by 2020, 30% by 2030 and 50% by 2050. These targets were adopted by the government as part of the ‘National Concept for a Green Economy up to 2050’ in 2013. The Green Economy is expected to increase GDP by 3% and create more than 500,000 new jobs at an investment cost of 1% of GDP per annum.

Kazakhstan’s plans are very ambitious considering that it is the 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world and experiences climatic extremes from below -50oC in the winter and +40oC in the summer, requiring substantial energy use for heating and cooling.

However, tariffs imposed on industrial energy consumers and the taxes paid by residential customers have intentionally been kept at below cost return levels by the government, which has subsidized the difference. Therefore, any dramatic increases in electricity prices brought about by new capacity from renewable energy could lead to significant unrest in a country where the average monthly income is below $600.

Whilst maintaining artificially low electricity prices has managed to keep political unrest in check it has driven away most investment in its electricity sector leading to electricity shortages. In order to overcome this the government introduced fixed, 15-year feed-in tariffs for renewable energy in 2013 as a means of guaranteeing returns to investors. Energy policies adopted between 2013 and 2015 were developed in conjunction with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to address investor concerns such as mandatory connection to the transmission and distribution networks and priority transmission of electricity generated by renewable energy.

Energy Efficiency

In 2013, the government set a target to reduce the energy intensity of GDP by 25% by 2020. It should be noted that there are around 30 large energy consuming industries based in Kazakhstan whose energy demand accounts for 40% of total electricity consumption of the country.


Kazakhstan recycles only 1% of its waste with 99% of waste, much of its toxic industrial waste, is simply dumped or buried. The amount of waste is now equivalent to 1,000 tonnes per person. However, waste represents a significant recyclable material resource and potential renewable energy generator.

The Future Energy Forum

The Future Energy Forum of Astana EXPO 2017 is a new and pioneering effort in global discussions on dealing with climate change and new energies. Being the host of Astana EXPO 2017, Kazakhstan is at the forefront of future energy development. The Future Energy Forum is designed to inform, inspire and innovate, to foster participation and exchange, and to actively create a global platform for a global future of renewable energy.

The mission and objectives of the Forum are to:

  • Promote international exchange, discussion and innovation about the present and future of sustainable energy and development
  • Promote clean energy economies and a green lifestyle
  • Develop international partnerships in economics, science, industry and technology
  • Promote the exchange of best practices in the area of sustainable development and clean energy
  • Create an innovation platform for the green industry in Kazakhstan
  • Accelerate the transition to a green economy and attract investment for innovative projects

The Forum is managed by a steering committee comprising a network of high-profile international climate leaders and experts representing politics and science. Their expertise and know-how provides valuable support and advice during the conference development and drafting of the Astana EXPO 2017 Manifesto of Values and Principles. Along with performing quality control, the Steering Committee acts as the highest international level of decision-making regarding the Manifesto, directing both its strategic orientation and the drafting process.

Astana EXPO 2017

The Astana EXPO 2017 Future Energy Forum is a series of twelve conferences being held between 29 June and 5 September 2017. EXPO 2017, classified as a specialised exposition and dedicated to the theme Future Energy, is organised by Astana EXPO 2017, a Kazakhstani joint venture company incorporated in 2013, and regulated by the Bureau International des Expositions. Attendees to the Forum include high-level government representatives, international agencies, leading scientists and academics, NGOs, visionaries and leaders, innovators in industry and engineering and other key players and stakeholders in the energy sector.

TRIAD Berlin

The Future Energy Forum is being presented by TRIAD Berlin in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Forum features twelve conferences dedicated to topics including climate change, green energy and sustainability. With its natural resources and singular geopolitical status, Kazakhstan is uniquely positioned to establish a new Eurasian energy market and further grow as a Green Bridge between East and West in the world of future energy.

International Energy Advisory Council

The International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC) is a partner in the Future Energy Forum and is providing six international energy experts to the Forum. For the Energy Revolution conference held on 29-30 June 2017, IEAC expert (Allan Jones) has provided a keynote speech “The Global Energy Transition: The Decentralized Revolution”, and four IEAC experts have presented at the "Municipal Energy Revolution – Case Studies from Around the World" Workshop and Roundtable (IEAC presenters: Allan Jones, Lars Nilsson, Dilip Limaye and Manfred Fischedick).

IEAC expert (Alan Meier) also participated in the Exploring Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation moderated expert plenary session for the Low Carbon Technologies and Renewable Technology Solutions conference held on 10-11 July 2017 and IEAC expert (Mycle Schneider) will be participating in the Creating Our Future conference to be held on 4-5 September 2017.

Manifesto of Values and Principles

The Future Energy Forum aims to establish new and lasting guidelines with its own seminal Astana EXPO 2017 Manifesto of Values and Principles. The Manifesto represents the culminated knowledge – solutions, innovations and frameworks – gathered throughout the twelve conferences of the Forum. It serves as a legacy of the event, but more importantly as a blueprint for the international transition.

The Manifesto will share the following properties:

  • Prominent authors/initiators
  • Integration of stakeholders/partners at different levels
  • Concrete statement of the problem
  • A roadmap with feasible goals and roadmap for development, with milestones
  • Guidelines for best practices
  • Balance of theory and practical approaches
  • Comparative case studies included
  • Integration of results of discussions during EXPO 2017
  • Wide audience reached through media (media coverage)

The result will be a successful and far-reaching Manifesto featuring the following three key elements:

  1. Values and Principles
  2. Plan of Action
  3. Pilot Project

International Energy Advisory Council Manifesto Advice

The International Energy Advisory Council (IEAC) provided advice on the Manifesto to TRIAD Berlin which can be summarised, as follows:

The incumbent centralized fossil-fuel and nuclear-energy systems will be replaced or avoided by a combination of greatly improved energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy, providing the pathway to a 100% renewable energy future. This is already happening as consumers become prosumers generating and consuming their own energy whether it be through a municipal energy corporation, community renewable energy or individual householders and businesses generating their own energy.

Energy efficiency will reduce centralized energy generation and the laws of physics dictate that electricity will always flow to the nearest electricity demand so decentralized energy generation will always displace remote centralized energy generation. This is already impacting on the incumbent baseload energy generation model which is being displaced by flexible generation with energy storage.

Energy policy in Kazakhstan needs to take account of this worldwide energy revolution and to remove the regulatory and institutional barriers to enable energy consumers to more easily become energy prosumers.

In addition, coal fired cogeneration plants could be replaced by gas fired trigeneration plants and waste could be converted into renewable gas resources, upgraded and injected into the gas grid to supply the trigeneration plants and provide renewable energy to cities and industry.

The IEAC also advises that Kazakhstan should undertake Energy Efficiency and Decentralized Energy Master Plans, particularly for cities and industry, to determine the amount of decentralized renewable energy that can be generated and consumed locally and the amount of large scale renewable energy that will be needed to supplement decentralized renewable energy to deliver a 100% renewable energy system. This will not only avoid large scale renewable energy generation from becoming stranded assets in the future it will also identify the different types and quantum of renewable energy resources and technologies required and the energy policies and regulatory reform needed to transition from the old incumbent centralized fossil-fuel energy system to the new energy efficiency and decentralized renewable energy system.

Allan Jones MBE
International Energy Advisory Council
11 July 2017

Presentations by IEAC Members

- Key Note Speech
— Allan Jones
The Global Energy Transition: The Decentralized Revolution

- Workshop: Municipal Energy Revolution
— Manfred Fischedick
Case Study Hamburg (Germany) Hamburg Energie as an implementing body for the Energiewende and progressive citizen involvement

— Allan Jones
Municipal Energy Revolution – Case Studies from Around the World

— Dilip R. Limaye
Boulder, Colorado: Moving Towards an Alternative Energy Future

— Lars Nilson & Mycle Schneider
Göteborg Energi, a Municipal Utility at the Core of a Local Sustainable Energy Agenda

- Exploring Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation
— Alan Meier
The Consumption Side Of The Energy Equation