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The Global Energy Prize annually honors outstanding achievements in energy research and technology from around the world that are helping address the world’s various and pressing energy challenges.

To a low-carbon future: Rae Kwon Chung on the steps for the transition

The global socio-economic and environmental challenges facing humanity require a transition to a low-carbon economy. It can be implemented only with the appropriate political will on the part of the states and directly depends on their fiscal policy. This was noted by the member of the Global Energy Prize International Award Committee, Advisor to the Chairman of the Group of Leaders and Experts on Water and Natural Disasters, Rae Kwon Chung during the World Congress of Engineers and Scientists WSEC-2017.

"The transition to a low-carbon economy can not happen at once, and it requires political will on the part of the state. The issue of fiscal policy is very important here. If you have tax incentives for oil and gas and coal mining companies, it is very difficult to develop a low-carbon economy. A significant increase in investments in clean energy is unlikely with this approach. Nevertheless, incentives for companies of "green", alternative energy are simply necessary," Rae Kwon Chung said.

Such a tax policy, according to the scientist, will contribute to the transformation of the economic system, further stimulating the processes of modernization and energy conservation. "We can move towards more energy-intensive and energy-efficient development, creating new jobs, while at the same time reducing the risks of the climate crisis," the expert said. He is convinced that technological innovations have been and will be the driver of economic changes. At the same time, carbon pricing will play a key role in the development of these innovations.

Speaking about steps to transition to a low-carbon economy, Rae Kwon Chung noted the need for a complete redesign of all current physical infrastructure into eco-cities (similar to Masdar City in the UAE) and transport systems with low carbon content. As the simplest example of this, he cited plugs: "We suffer from traffic congestion in many cities around the world. This is a bright sign of the wrong design of cities and transport system. This is the loss of energy, air pollution and a waste of our valuable time on the road. Some countries lose from 1 to 2% of GDP just because of traffic jams. "

Another step in the transition to a low-carbon economy Rae Kwon Chung sees the need to study the potential of supergrids - high-voltage power lines with direct current. Since such networks are capable of transmitting electricity thousands of kilometers, with their help it is possible to supply renewable energy from the centers of the global economy to remote regions of the world. "At the moment, the countries are working on the project of the Asian super ring - an ultra-high voltage electric network in Northeast Asia, which must transfer clean energy from the Gobi Desert in Mongolia to China, Korea and Japan. I believe that the super ring is the technological example that scientists and engineers participating in the congress should study, "Rae Kwon Chung summarized.

Note that the World Congress of Engineers and Scientists WSEC-2017 "Energy of the future: innovative scenarios and methods for their implementation" is part of the business program of EXPO in Astana. Among the key speakers of WSEC-2017 there are the winners of the Global Energy Prize: Alexey Kontorovich, Gennady Mesyats, Valentin Parmon, Klaus Riedle and Eduard Volkov.

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