Kazakhstan’s desire for energy reform and an announcement of a nationwide referendum on building the country’s first nuclear power plant should be considered as an impetus for transforming both the energy sector and the economy in line with sustainable development.
The task presents a challenge due to Kazakhstan’s historical reliance on fossil fuel exports for economic growth. However, this proposes integrating nuclear energy into the economy even more ambitious and potentially lucrative. On the one hand, this will allow the country to obtain the electricity it needs for the economy, and on the other hand, facilitate the reorientation of its energy balance, laying the groundwork for a green transition.
Besides that, Kazakhstan has its uranium deposits, accounting for 12% of global reserves. With modern technologies, the country will undoubtedly be able to use this rare resource more efficiently and minimize the negative environmental footprint associated with using this raw material. The European Union (EU) classifies nuclear power and natural gas as green energy sources, provided that nuclear power plants dispose of toxic waste safely and do not cause significant harm to the environment. The EU’s approach will gain global consensus soon.
It seems that investments in the nuclear industry demonstrate favorable economic growth trends and present opportunities for the financial sector, particularly those interested in sustainable investments. From Kazakhstan’s viewpoint, building a nuclear power plant represents a significant solution to address the energy shortfall as the nation moves away from coal, thereby bolstering its energy security.
The author is a professor at the Department of Economics at Kozminski University. He has teaching experience at the Université Paris-Est and ENSTA-ParisTech in Paris and completed master’s, postgraduate, and doctoral studies in International Economics at Sorbonne. Dr. Karpa’s academic interests mainly focus on economic innovation processes, sustainable development, and climate change.