Astana EXPO 2017 provides Kingdom with other platform to share ‘story of success’ with host, other countries

By Mohammad Ghazal – Jun 29,2017

AMMAN — Jordan and Kazakhstan enjoy a huge potential for increased cooperation in the field of renewable energy especially since the two countries stand out in pursuit of schemes in this field, deemed by experts as the energy of peace, energy experts and activists said on Thursday.

They stressed that Jordan and Kazakhstan share a vision of world peace and that they represent a model to be followed when it comes to adopting renewable energy, especially since the two countries have drafted promising strategies to increase contribution of the renewable energy to the overall energy mix.

“Jordan and Kazakhstan are active in pushing for world peace and globe that is free of nuclear weapons and are currently effectively playing a role in green energy adoption and use,” Muna Makhamreh, coordinator at Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

“Countries rich in traditional energy resources are shifting towards smarter energy solutions and mainly renewable energy. Jordan and Kazakhstan are examples to be followed in this regard,” Makhamreh told The Jordan Times.

Referring to the Astana EXPO 2017 in which Jordan is currently taking part, she said: “Whether rich or poor, countries that are intelligent in their use of energy and want sustained economic growth and competitiveness are investing heavily in renewable energy, which is an energy of peace,” Makhamreh said referring to the Astana EXPO 2017 that focuses on “Future Energy”.

The theme of EXPO 2017 Expo, which was opened on June 10 and continues through September 10, focuses on innovative and practical energy solutions in the future and their impact.

Jordan is one of over 100 nations participating in the Astana Expo aimed at addressing the energy challenges of the 21st century.

The two countries endorsed legislation and took steps to facilitate investments in the field, noted Makhamreh, adding that “the two countries can further explore joint investments and projects in this field,” she added.

Energy-poor Jordan is currently working on a strategy to increase the contribution of renewable energy in its overall mix of energy to 10 per cent by 2020.

By 2018, the Kingdom is expected to have projects with a total capacity of 1,800MW operational in the field, Mohammad Hamed, former minister of energy and mineral resources, told The Jordan Times on Thursday.

For its part, Kazakhstan, a country rich in gas, oil and home to abundant quantities of anthracite and bituminous coal, has set ambitious decarbonisation and energy efficiency goals. It voiced its intention to make renewable energy reach 50 per cent of its power generation mix by 2050.

In 2009, the Kazakh government adopted a law to support the development of renewable energy projects and competitive feed-in-tariffs were introduced in 2013 and subsequently refined.

In 2015, a Green Economy law was enacted.

In Jordan, several laws facilitating investment in the sector were endorsed, along with projects seeking to expand grid network to absorb more renewable energy projects, Hamed said.

“There is a global focus on the post-petroleum era, and countries such as Jordan and Kazakhstan have strategies for renewable energy projects, which places them on the right direction,” Ismael Atiyat, vice president of the Energy Conservation and Environment Sustainability Society, told The Jordan Times.

“Even oil-rich countries such as Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia have big plans for renewable energy projects,” he said.

“Renewable energy is the energy of peace. It helps combat global warming and climate change, and preserves the whole planet and the environment,” Atiyat said, adding: “This is another form of peace and countries need to adopt renewable energy, which is energy of peace.”

By taking part in the 2017 international Expo, Jordan can share its expertise and contribute to the sector, Hamed said.

“Jordan is the most active Middle East country in utilising renewable energy. The largest wind energy project in the Middle East is located here and the Kingdom has become a hub that can share its expertise with many countries, including Kazakhstan,” said Hamed.

Economist Hosam Ayesh agreed. “In a country such as Kazakhstan that is rich in traditional resources of fuel including oil, gas and coal, the aggressive advancement and adoption of renewable energy is a key testimony that renewable energy is the future for competitive economies and growth. Jordan and Kazakhstan can certainly boost collaboration in this area.”

Ayesh added: “Both nations have made strides in this field with the endorsement of legislation and taking steps on the ground.”

“We are witnessing a global focus on renewable energy resources as these sources of energy are cheap, clean and contribute to combating climate change,” Ayesh said, adding that Jordan, which is home to a wide array of mega projects in wind and solar energy, can provide thorough knowledge and experience in this regard.

“By adopting promising energy strategy to diversify resources and focus on renewable energy, countries such as Kazakhstan and Jordan are on the right path toward the future of the energy sector,” Ayesh concluded.