By Leman Mammadova
Today, Azerbaijan eyes to attract foreign investors for the implementation of huge projects in renewable energy sector to reduce dependence on exhaustible oil and gas.
Companies from Qatar and China are interested in participating in a project to build a wind power plant in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, Agshin Bakirzade, the chairman of the Azeralternativenergy LLC under the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, told Trend.
He said that the company continues negotiations with a number of foreign investors on financing the project, noting that it is not known yet with which company the agreement will be concluded.
In his words, the company also intends to increase the capacity of existing stations.
“Azerbaijan has very significant potential in renewable energy. I believe that the construction of both solar and wind plants is of great importance. In the future, the work carried out in this area will show its positive aspects,” he said.
It should be noted that the wind power plant, which will extend from Pirallahi to Chilov islands, will be located at sea. Relevant feasibility study for the project was carried out. The capacity of the plant is expected to be 200 megawatts.
Implementation of the project will create a new source for energy generation, an electricity grid infrastructure close to consumers in the Absheron peninsula, and, thus consumers will be provided with electric power supply stability. In addition, natural gas used for the production of electricity will be saved and harmful emissions to the atmosphere will be reduced.
Compared to the wind farms onshore, less wind turbines are required for offshore farms as the wind speed and direction are stronger in the sea. As a result, this provides more efficiency while giving the same amount of electricity as onshore turbines. The only con of offshore farms is the high cost of the technology used to transmit the energy. The world’s largest offshore wind farm is located in the UK.
The use of wind energy in Azerbaijan is considered prospective. More than 270 days of strong winds were recorded on the Absheron Peninsula and in the coastal zone of the Caspian Sea. The average annual speed of the wind is 7.2 meters per second. The calculations show that a wind power plant with a capacity of 500 kW prevents emissions of 750 to 1,250 tons of carbon dioxide and 3-6 tons of other harmful substances compared to a coal-fired power plant.
According to the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, Azerbaijan has about 800 MW of annual wind energy reserves due to its geographical location, natural conditions and economic infrastructure. This is about 2.4 billion kWh of electricity, in other words it is possible to save about 1 million tons of fuel per year thanks to the wind energy.
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, and 925 MW in 2026-2030. The share of renewables in the total power generation is expected to be 15 percent by 2020, 25-30 percent by 2025 and 35-40 percent by 2030.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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