Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabian company mull cooperation on renewables
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan's Energy Ministry and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power company have discussed pilot projects to develop Azerbaijan’s renewable energy industry.
The discussion was held during an online meeting between Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov and Board Chairman of Saudi Arabia's ACWA Power Mohammad Abunayyan on February 8.
The parties discussed the work done after the signing of agreements on investment, energy purchase and transmission network connection on the 240 MW wind power plant project.
Noting the 5th meeting held by the commission on measures for the implementation of pilot projects in the field of the use of renewable energy, the minister provided information on the discussions held on the wind power plant.
In turn, Abunayyan briefed the participants on the work done within the cooperation with the Energy Ministry and Azerenergy OJSC under the project.
The experts’ professionalism, involved in the project implementation from both sides, was highly appreciated and the efficient cooperation was acknowledged.
Moreover, it was noted that the high level of trust between the parties to the contract gives confidence that the project will be completed on time and successfully.
Additionally, the parties stressed the need for having trainings, seminars and information-sharing events, noting that it is not just a business project but also a transfer of knowledge and practice.
The relevant agreements on the 240 MW wind power plant project were signed between the Ministry of Energy and Azerenergy OJSC and ACWA Power on December 29, 2020.
During the signing of the agreement, the minister Shahbazov noted that the agreement will strengthen the ties between Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan, and the 240 MW project will contribute to Azerbaijan’s energy diversification and the use of renewable energy sources. Head of the Azerenergy Baba Rzayev noted that the implementation of this project will stimulate the development of national economy, play a special role in ensuring the energy stability of the country, save gas and have a positive impact on the environment.
The use of renewable energy sources has been determined by the president as one of the priority spheres for the development of the energy sector, including the implementation of pilot projects on the construction of a 240-megawatt wind farm and a 200-megawatt solar power plant in accordance with the agreements signed.
Seven working groups, consisting of representatives of the structures such as the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Justice, the Committee for Urban Planning and Architecture, the State Service on Property Issues, the State Tax Service, Central Bank, Azerenergy OJSC, Azerishig OJSC, are operating to develop alternative energy in the country.
Currently, 91.9 percent of electricity in Azerbaijan is produced from traditional sources of energy (natural gas), while 8.1 percent of electricity is produced from renewable sources.
According to estimates of the Energy Ministry, the potential of Azerbaijan’s renewable energy sources generating capacities is 26,000 MW. The Energy Ministry has set a task to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity production by 30 percent in 2030.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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