By Aynur Jafarova
Kazakhstan has adopted the Energy Efficiency-2020 program at a government meeting chaired by Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov.
The prime minister said at the meeting that the Kazakh President set the task to reduce the consumption of energy by 10 percent every year until 2015.
In order to achieve this goal a task was set to develop and approve the Energy Efficiency- 2020 program by September 1, 2013.
Speaking at the meeting, Vice Minister of Industry and New Technologies Nurlan Sauranbayev said that Kazakhstan has fostered preconditions for a transition to the energy-efficient economy and formed the necessary legal framework.
According to him, 22 legal acts have been approved in the process of implementing the new law "On saving energy and energy efficiency".
He also focused on different areas of the program and informed the participants about the measures for its implementation.
According to Sauranbayev, 16 regional and 5 sectoral energy saving plans are being implemented.
He went on to say that prior to July 2015 more than 2,000 industrial enterprises should undergo energy audits.
The Ministry of Industry and New Technologies places a special emphasis on the industrial sector, given that the industry consumes more than 50 percent of the country's energy resources.
According to Sauranbayev, as part of the Energy Efficiency-2020 program it is planned to implement 78 different activities worth more than 1.1 trillion tenge.
Sauranbayev also said the success of the program will give a serious impetus to the modernization of the economy and increase of the welfare of the population.
Speaking at the meeting First Vice Minister of Regional Development Kairbek Uskenbayev focused on the issues of energy saving in the housing and public utilities sector.
He noted that in the framework of the program on modernization of housing and utilities sector for 2011-2020, the renovation of houses with thermo-elements was underway. This will allow to reduce heat consumption by 30 percent.
Uskenbayev also said that according to the President's instruction, the construction of three energy centers -- in Astana, Almaty and Aktobe -- is underway. The main goal is to create a platform for the promotion of energy-saving and energy-efficient technologies and materials.
In his remarks Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Industry and New Technologies Asset Issekeshev said that as part of the Energy Efficiency-2020 program it is important to increase public awareness of energy saving and energy efficiency.
According to him, this program concerns everyone -- from large enterprises to each family, and the most important issue is propaganda.
Summarizing the discussions, the Kazakh prime minister stressed the importance of the program and noted that energy efficiency stimulates innovative solutions, the development of science as well as transfer of new technologies.
The long-term energy efficiency program, which is being developed on orders of the Kazakh President, envisages mandatory increase of the energy efficiency of industrial enterprises by 30 percent, reducing the cost per unit of generated electricity by 14 percent, improving energy efficiency in the housing and utilities sector and reducing energy intensity per square meter by 30 percent.
In addition, the program provides for public monitoring of the implementation of energy conservation programs by local executive bodies, promotion of energy saving, etc.
According to projections, if the energy conservation efforts are not taken into account, consumption of energy resources in Kazakhstan could amount to 90 million tons of oil equivalent by 2015 and 120 tons of oil equivalent by 2020.