By Leman Mammadova
Aiming to lessen its dependency on hydrocarbons, Azerbaijan, as many other energy-rich states, now looking for alternative ways of energy generation.
In January-March 219, Azerbaijan produced goods and services worth 552.2 million manats ($324.9 million) in production, distribution and supply of electricity, gas and steam.
This makes 3.2 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the State Statistics Committee, Report informs.
Cost of products produced in water supply, wastewater treatment and processing sector increased by 9.3 percent to 71.9 million manats ($42.3 million).
In the past three months, the total electricity production in Azerbaijan amounted to 6,340.5 million kWh, which is 3.5 percent more than in the reporting period of last year.
Compared to the same period of last year, production at hydro power plants decreased by 11 percent to 295 million kWh, while energy generation at thermal power plants increased by 4.1 percent to stand at the level of 5,778.8 million kWh.
In January-March of this year, 31.8 million kilowatt-hours of wind power was generated in Azerbaijan, which is 8.4 times more than in the three months of 2018.
During this period, solar power production increased by 10.8 percent and amounted to 8.2 million kWh.
The favorable geographic location and climatic conditions allow the widespread use of environmentally friendly alternative energy sources in Azerbaijan.
Aiming to lessen its dependency on oil, Azerbaijan carries out a number of measures for further development of alternative energy sector.
There are plans to implement a number of projects totaling $2.3 billion in alternative energy.
The projects include a plant for production of biofuels (pellet fuels) in the Sabirabad district, construction of wind power plants in the Pirallahi district, an agro-energy residential complex in the Samukh district and others.
Construction of two wind power farms worth $800 million and $408.9 million in the Pirallahi district, as well as a wind power farm worth $377.7 million in the Khizi district are the biggest projects planned for implementation.
According to the Market Analysis Azerbaijan 2019, expansion of renewable electricity generation is estimated at 430 MW in 2018-2020, 840 MW in 2021-2025, 925 in 2026-2030.
However, the share of renewables in total power generation is expected to be 15 percent by 2020, 25-30 percent by 2025 and 35-40 percent by 2030.
According to the report, wind power maintains 59.2 percent (15,000 MW) share in total potential for renewable energy. It is followed by solar power-31.6 percent (8,000 MW), biomass 3.5 percent (900 MW), geothermal 3.1 percent (800 MW), and hydropower 2.6 percent (650 MW).
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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