The importance and use of renewable energy sources (RES) has been raising in recent years on a global scale. Therefore, the significance of this issue is increasing for Georgia as well. However, Georgia has already been an observer of Energy Community (EnC) since 2007 and applied for full membership in 2014.
On 12th of October, 2016, PMC Research, together with Konrad Adenauer Foundation hosted a presentation and public discussion of the research findings “Challenges and Opportunities of Renewable Energy in Georgia”. The researcher, Zviad Gachechiladze presented his analyses of RES in Georgia and explained the technical side and also, administrative procedures for the country to receive recognition from the EU. This event itself refers, that Georgia is going to take more steps towards introducing RES in the country and there are few reasons for that: First of all, Georgia is remarkably rich in hydropower resources and also have a potential of wind, solar, biomass and geothermal resources. On the other hand, reduction in CO2 emissions and a larger scale development of RES in Georgia will have positive effect on the environment as well. It will support sustainable development goals of the country implying that living environment will be much cleaner and we will avoid the dangers of ecological disaster we are facing now.
The first Wind Power Plant was already officially opened on 6th of October, 2016 in Gori Municipality and it will be fully functional in December. Project is worth 34 million USD. The Power Plant will enable the Ministry of Energy to provide part of the electricity countrywide at the expense of the wind energy.
During the public discussion at the Ministry of Energy, the deputy of Minister of Energy Mariam Valishvili, talked about different perspectives and explained the current negotiations between Georgian government and the EU.
She mentioned that Georgia has definitely high potential of Renewable Energy sources and it could be very profitable and useful for the country to actively work in this sector. It can also increase new job opportunities in electricity sector. However, she mentioned few barriers which might make the process complicated and slow. According to her, it is important to take steps slowly and measure the possible outcomes in advance. The first crucial issue Georgia has to deal with is the challenges of fulfillment of RES directive, so that European market will be open for Georgia to sell the energy. She also mentioned that it is a very expensive project and government needs to invest a lot of money in it. Therefore a lot of measurements have to be considered.
It has been mentioned during the discussion, that there should be more researchers and specialists exploring and working on this topic to define the benefits and possible complications of introducing RES in Georgia.Mariam Valishvili also said that the government is intensely working on administrative process with the EU, but if the administrative barriers are not handled, it will not be sensible for Georgia make an agreement.