The drive towards a future without fossil fuels seems to be moving faster than many analysts foresaw.
It might seem unfathomable to many that oil would get the attention it did at an exhibition about the future of energy, but it did. CGTN’s Guy Henderson reports from Astana, Kazakhstan.
The Astana Expo was kicked off in spectacular style. The theme this year was future energy. Companies and countries from all over came to sell their vision.
Malaysia’s pavilion was one of the largest. The color scheme on show for the country’s energy minister was green, a give-away of where things are heading. Still, even here, there was a modest space for a fossil-fuel future.
Renewables were still the main focus. Among the companies was Power Primus, a zinc battery producer, which believes it’s solving one major issue for the sector: large-scale storage.
“Even Kazakhstan has renewable goals with installing 50% of installed capacity by 2050. In order to do that storage will be crucial in those components. And we believe that our energy storage can give new life to renewable technologies globally,” said Ruslan Rakymbay from Primus Power.
Kazakhstan, like most of the rest of the world, is signed up to the Paris Climate agreement. But it’s one of a number of countries still heavily reliant on oil. So perhaps it’s no surprise that at the energy themed expo there was some space for an innovative, cleaner future that includes fossil fuels.”
The World Petroleum Association says that even long-term, there’ll be a need. “A complete replacement needs a long, long, long time. It’s not a sudden switch to renewable. Many expect that in 30-years time, still oil and gas will be a very significant part of the energy mix,” said Joseph Tott, President of the World Petroleum Council.
Humanity’s reliance on fossil fuel is killing the planet. Yet, a look into expo’s crystal ball gave hope that Earth will still live.