PRAGUE. 8 August, Caucasus Times. International Special Exhibition in Kazakhstan opened its doors from June 10 until September 10. This year’s EXPO theme is renewable energy of the future. Researchers unanimously affirm that the society should develop alternative, more sustainable energy solutions. Experts suggest innovative ways to generate energy from underwater ocean currents, wave surges and fluctuations and even space dust. Leveraging modern technologies will allow to generate the same amount of energy in a minute from one solar station with an area of 10 by 10 meters, as from the traditional nuclear power plant.
To host the EXPO, Kazakhstan constructed a park of glass pavilions and a futuristic sphere from metal and glass that equals in height to a 20-storey building and has eight ascending spiral levels. Expo exhibits are supported by various laser and light interactive shows.
All 115 participating countries are showcasing their technologies in national pavilions. Big players – Germany, United Kingdom, China and France – have commissioned three pavilions each.
South Korea presented a solar battery-powered airplane and shared its vision of the high-tech future where smart technologies will be accessible for everyone before long. China displayed a super high-speed train and the country’s pavilion featured sun installation as a symbol of eternal energy. The Japanese unveiled smart home systems where energy is generated from household appliances. The pavilions of these Asian countries are among the most popular at the EXPO.
As for the Europeans, Italy demonstrated its forte – how to generate energy from the rise and fall of the tides. Germany showcased a house with a façade from living algae and presented how the concept of “smart house” can save energy and how you can become an energy source through and interactive key. The Germans brought an all-electric racing car to the EXPO. Slovakia got very creative with its self-sustainable eco-capsule of a house which can be transported and set up in any place in the world just like a tent.
Additionally, national pavilions feature each country’s cultural and technological achievements. Every day, participating countries hold National Days, during which every visitor has an opportunity not only to experience their culture, traditions and customs but be a part of a breathtaking show.
Russia attracts visitors with its national songs and dances, offering a welcome respite of coolness amid hot Astana summer. The Russians are featuring the Russian North as a hub for advanced energy solutions. One of the most fascinating exhibits here is “Energy of the Arctic” installation featuring a real iceberg. Among the blocks of ice, the installation displays a prototype of “Akademik Lomonosov”, Russia’s unparalleled floating nuclear power station that can power cities with over 20,000 people.
Kazakhstan has the largest pavilion – the host country’s Nur Alem features all types of alternative energy sources. The organizers have combined science with entertainment to encourage interactive learning. So far, the country has implemented over 50 renewable energy projects with total capacity of 2,000 megawatts which makes Kazakhstan an absolute leader, at least in the Central Asian region.
Over the past five years, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invested 500 million euros in Kazakhstan’s green energy sector. According to the Representative of the General Directorate of the European Commission for Energy, Gerassimos Thomas, “the EU is trying to move away from importing exclusively oil and uranium from Kazakhstan (the country provides 21% of the total uranium supply to the members of the European Union). We are planning to focus on renewable energy projects – there are a number of existing and planned initiatives, including on energy efficient buildings.”
Public opinion polls in the country have registered high level of interest to the EXPO 2017. 32 percent of respondents have either visited or plan to visit the international exhibition. The majority, 66 percent, state that their friends and relatives have already visited the EXPO.
EXPO 2017 enjoys attention of international partners – the event draws some 30,000 visitors daily and facilitates the signing of contracts and investment opportunities alongside cultural activities.
The construction of EXPO 2017, Astana’s biggest development project yet, started during the years of the economic downturn and gave the city much needed momentum. Through significant project investments the city authorities were able to improve transport infrastructure and address several other outstanding social issues. As for the future use of the expo’s parks and pavilions, the facilities will host the International Financial Center “Astana.” The Center is expected to boost the country’s further economic growth. The remaining buildings will be used as the Technological Park of the Nazarbaev University to incubate break-through innovative projects.