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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.

Sergey Alekseenko: Kazakhstan needs to develop renewable energy

Sergey Alekseenko, the 2018 Global Energy Prize laureate, RAS Academician, called the opening of a solar power plant with a capacity of 100 megawatts in Sarani (Karaganda, Kazakhstan region) an important step in the development of renewable energy in the country.

Academician Alekseenko is convinced that the countries of Central Asia need to develop solar energy, not only because they get a lot of natural sunlight, but also for the reason that he considers solar energy – the most promising direction of renewable energy. "By 2040 25% of electric energy in the world will be produced by photoelectricity, so those countries that are already engaged in photovoltaics will have obvious advantages in the near future," the expert said. He also added that despite the fact that most of the electricity in the country is produced by thermal power plants operating on coal (mainly from the Ekibastuz coal basin), the burning of low quality fossil fuels leads to serious environmental problems. Kazakhstan has always been a supporter of innovative development, so it is not surprising that now the country is engaged in the introduction of solar energy.

Sergey Alekseenko identified a number of difficulties that Kazakhstan may face in the transition of using solar energy. The installation of solar panels requires the allocation of a large area, taking into account installations for storage of energy, these factors significantly increase the cost of solar stations. It is also important to take into account the geographical and climatic features of the area. Thus, the weather  of Northern Kazakhstan is characterized by abundant rainfall, it can complicate the work of solar installations, so additional precautions are needed. However, the Academician concludes that the benefits of solar energy, such as energy security, promotion of economic development and environmental protection exceed the difficulties that need to be eliminated to normalize the operation of solar stations. In terms of financial benefits, he gave an example of Southern Europe. This is a region that also receives a lot of solar energy and where solar plants have achieved payback in one year.

Recall that Sergey Alekseenko, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of heat and mass transfer’s laboratory of Institute of Thermophysics of the RAS Siberian Branch, became the 2018 Global Energy Prize laureate for preparing the thermal principles for creating modern energy-efficient and energy-saving technologies that allow to design environmentally friendly thermal power plants.

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