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At the International Forum in Astana the debate on the challenges of the energy transition


© Agenzia Nova - Reproduction reserved

Prepare the energy transition, cooperate with regional and multilateral partners, attract investments on large projects connecting Central Asia and Europe. The International Forum of Astana (Aif), an event wanted by the president, ended on a positive impetus Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to reposition Kazakhstan as the strategic epicenter of the region, with a desire for openness and dialogue with Western Europe. The premises have been clearly expressed, and in fact this edition of the forum confirms the dialogue approach already started some years ago. Like yesterday, the central theme in today's panels was energy, with opinions that moved away from the more purist vision of the transition so much in demand at an international level. Kazakhstan works for energy security, the Kazhak Energy Minister immediately clarified Almasadam Satkaliyev, aware of the "many challenges" currently involving the market, in which we read "a real risk and a political impact". Satkaliyev recalled that the issue has a real impact on people's daily lives and therefore invited them to "not underestimate" energy costs and to support an investment strategy, in order to "directly access opportunities and change".


For the UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Suhail al MazroueiHowever, it is necessary to clarify the real "enemies" of the "struggle" for the energy transition and to remember that for a successful change this must translate into a balance between security, equity and sustainability. "We must fight the right enemy, and the enemy is not oil," said al Mazrouei, who invites us to pursue the optimization of the three aspects that form part of the energy challenge today. “The energy trilemma includes security, sustainability but also convenience. We must invest in the right technologies to guarantee all three aspects, without which the objective cannot be considered achieved”, said the UAE minister, supporter of a policy of diversification of sources and reduction of dependency. For al Mazrouei, the first step is to reduce consumption, as individuals and as countries, and rapidly diversify the energy mix by channeling efforts towards cleaner forms of energy.


The theme of energy sustainability, to be understood this time from an economic point of view, came to life with the interventions of some multilateral and private players involved in the future green perspective. If for the president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asakawa Masatsugu, it is clear that to achieve energy efficiency, the first step is to reduce dependencies on imports, the CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné reiterates its belief in the "impossibility" to suspend investments today in the oil and gas sector, necessary to meet the growing global energy demand. "We have no alternative, we must continue to do so and in the meantime we build a new system", said Pouyanné, who specifies: "we need more energy for emerging countries and at the moment we need to do both, finance green projects and continue to invest in oil and gas”. The energy transition "is getting ready" but "it's not a religion", continued the owner of the French group, particularly proud of the contract signed today with the local government for the sale of electricity in Kazakhstan as part of the Mirny wind project. “A gigantic wind and battery project,” wrote Pouyanné on Twitter – which will contribute to the supply and security of the Kazakh grid, “proof of TotalEnergies is driving the energy transition” in the country. “After Iraq, this $1,4 billion investment project is another great example of our ability to leverage our position as a leading upstream partner to accelerate the development of renewables in oil and gas countries,” he said. added the businessman. The wind farm, which will be located in the Zhambyl region, will have a capacity of 1 gigawatt-hour, plus battery energy storage of 600 megawatt-hours.


The Astana forum also received an important appeal from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to invest in the Middle Corridor, a project which aims to connect Asia to Europe without touching Russia. The bank has confirmed its interest in supporting the initiative but has invited potential protagonists to concretely demonstrate their proposals for action. “The study on sustainable transport links between Central Asia and Europe has been completed and the investment needs quantified. The time has come for stakeholders to establish a platform for further action,” said the EBRD Central Asia regional director, Zsuzsanna Hargitai, who spoke today in a panel aimed at taking stock of the state of development of the project. An intervention with which Hargitai illustrated the three existing routes that currently connect Central Asia to Europe. “It's good to see them because this allows you to better focus on the advantages of each one. The EBRD finds the central corridor more convincing because it involves a greater number of countries and allows for greater regional interaction”, she explained, noting that the route also seems preferable from the point of view of environmental impact.

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