Georgia Tech Featured at Energy Conference in Kazakhstan

Experts from Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute (EI2), the National Renewable Energy Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently participated in a two-day conference in Kazakhstan under the auspices of the U.S.-Kazakhstan Energy Partnership, the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies and the U.S. Department of Energy. More than 100 representatives from government, industry and various organizations attended the September seminar to learn how to address barriers and incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Robert Hitch, an EI2 energy specialist, discussed an industrial approach to energy management, as well as issues in the development and implementation of ISO 50001, an energy management standard developed in part by Georgia Tech experts. ISO 50001 establishes a framework for industrial plants, commercial facilities or entire organizations to manage energy and targets broad applicability across national economic sectors. It is estimated that the standard could influence up to 60 percent of the world’s energy use.

“Kazakhstan has large reserves of coal, natural gas, uranium and petroleum, and as a Kyoto Protocol participant, the country has new requirements for energy efficiency,” explained Hitch, whose trip was sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Energy. “They will need to focus on operational changes and ISO 50001 – as well as lean manufacturing approaches – will give them the tools to do that.”

The renewable energy discussions focused on the economic value of developing Kazakhstan’s renewable energy potential, methods to address barriers to renewable energy and use of analytical tools to map wind resource potential. The energy efficiency group explored ways to implement an energy management program and surveyed industrial energy efficiency tools and standards. Participants stressed the need for policies that provide long-term, stable support for clean energy development.

The United States and Kazakhstan have long cooperated in the energy sector. U.S. President Obama and Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev met on the margins of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2010, and issued a joint statement that pledged to intensify bilateral cooperation to promote nuclear safety and non-proliferation, regional stability in Central Asia, economic prosperity and universal values. Specifically, the presidents underscored the 15-year track record of close cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States and success in the reduction of the threat of nuclear weapons around the world. They expressed their intention to enhance cooperation on nuclear energy and alternative-energy sources.

For more information on EI2assistance in energy management, contact Bill Meffert, program manager, at 404-894-3844 or

About the Enterprise Innovation Institute:

The Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute helps companies, entrepreneurs, economic developers and communities improve their competitiveness through the application of science, technology and innovation. It is one of the most comprehensive university-based programs of business and industry assistance, technology commercialization and economic development in the nation.

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Writer: Nancy Fullbright