By Leman Mammadova
Foreign companies are interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the implementation of renewable energy projects that serve to ensure energy security in the country.
According to the Spain’s Export and Investment Committee under the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, the Spanish company EQO-NIXUS builds the first floating solar power plant in Azerbaijan with the support of the Asian Development Bank.
“Azerbaijan continues taking steps in the field of production of alternative energy to diversify its economy,” the message reads.
In this regard, one of the latest achievements was the agreement between the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan and the Asian Development Bank on the construction of a pilot plant for the production of photovoltaic energy on Lake Boyukshor.
The project for the development of a floating solar power plant was announced in July 2018.
The Spanish company EQO-NIXUS, a global consulting company specializing in the interdisciplinary consulting and management services, is responsible for the implementation of the project after signing a contract worth 2.6 million euros in September 2018.
According to the statement of the ADB, this sum will be divided between Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Kyrgyzstan, where solar power plants will also be built. In each country, the project should be completed by 2021, with the generation capacity reaching 100 kW.
This power plant is a powerful boost for the development of "clean energy" in Azerbaijan, a country of great interest to the ADB, which aims to diversify the energy balance and improve energy security.
Earlier, ADB selected three consulting companies - EQO-NIXUS and S.L.U. as international consulting companies and Azerbaijan Energy Engineering and Consulting as a local consulting company - for a pilot project on floating solar panels in Azerbaijan.
ADB approved the Floating Solar Energy Development project on August 17, 2018. It involves technical assistance for the creation of floating solar power plants in the three countries. ADB experts are sure that this will contribute to the diversification of energy sources, increase energy security and reduce harmful emissions.
It is noteworthy that in accordance with the three-year business plan, ADB will allocate $335 million for the modernization of Azerbaijan’s energy system in 2019-2021.
Solar energy is one of the most common types of alternative energy sources in modern times. The amount of sunlight falling on the surface of the Earth is greater than all oil, gas, coal and other fuels.
The advantage of solar energy is that sun exposure does not generate a glaze effect, no air pollution occurs, and heat does not spread to atmospheric layers. The only cons of solar energy is that it is dependent on the state of the atmosphere, day and year.
Azerbaijan's natural climatic conditions open up opportunities for energy production by using solar energy sources. The amount of sunny hours in Azerbaijan is 2,400-3,200 hours a year. Taking into account that there are 300 sunny days in Azerbaijan, it is one of the most promising areas.
Presently, solar power plants in Azerbaijan operate in the cities of Gobustan and Samukh, the Baku settlements of Pirallahi and Surakhani. The power plant in Baku’s Sahil settlement is fully ready for operation. After the start of its operation, it is also planned to commission a similar solar power plant in Sumgayit city, where the work has almost been completed.
According to the report Market Analysis Azerbaijan 2019, solar power maintains 31.6 percent (8,000 MW) share in total potential for renewable energy in the country.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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