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Azerbaijan, Georgia to Jointly Develop Alternative Energy

Azerbaijan’s State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy and the Georgian Energy Ministry will establish a joint working group in the field of alternative energy, the state agency reported on July 8.

Agency chief Akim Badalov met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Georgia, Minister of Economic Development Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze in Tbilisi.

Badalov said the two countries have great potential in the use of alternative and renewable energy.

“Both countries have large hydropower resources. However, in the future, the use of hydropower can lead to environmental problems, so it is reasonable to use water resources more efficiently. The geographical position allows us to use wind energy, biomass, and geothermal energy,” the head of the state agency added.

The Georgian side expressed its interest in projects implemented in Azerbaijan, such as the “One house, one station” hybrid power station project and the construction of the agrofuels residential complex.

The meeting resulted in the establishment of a working group between Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as agreement on the intensification of bilateral meetings, and an exchange of experiences in the field of alternative energy.

The total potential of alternative and renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan exceeds 12,000 megawatts.

Most of the country’s potential in this area is accounted for by solar energy, with an estimated at 5,000 megawatts, while wind power accounts for 4,500 mw energy potential, 1,500 megawatts for biomass, and 800 megawatts for geothermal energy. The remaining 350 megawatts is the potential for small hydroelectric power plants.

Within five years, Azerbaijan plans to build up to 100 facilities for alternative energy.

Last year, investments in the development of alternative energy in Azerbaijan reached 63.6 million manat. Of these, 34.9 million manat fell into the development of solar power, while 28.7 million manat went to the development of wind energy.

In total, about 800 million manat has been invested in this sector in Azerbaijan since 2000.

Currently, the share of alternative energy sources in Azerbaijan is less than 1 percent, and is for by small hydroelectric power plants.

This share is planned to increase to 20 percent of the total volume of energy consumption in Azerbaijan by 2020, which requires 7 billion manat ($8.9 billion) of investment.

The increase of alternative energy capacity will reduce the use of hydrocarbons in the oil producing country, making it possible to redirect them to overseas markets, increasing Azerbaijan’s the export potential and its revenues.