By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s Energy Ministry and International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, have signed a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the use of offshore wind energy resources.
The memorandum was signed in the context of the common goals of the ministry and IFC, such as promoting the use of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan and supporting the participation of the private sector in this area to improve financial sustainability and efficiency of the energy sector.
Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov noted that renewable energy has been determined by the head of state as one of the significant priorities of Azerbaijan’s socio-economic and diversified development course, as well as achieving a clean environment by 2030.
“It is necessary to use the offshore wind energy potential to ensure that the renewable energy has a significant position in production and consumption,” the minister added.
Shahbazov emphasized that the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea are an important source for the development of not only the hydrocarbon industry but also the green energy sector.
“Cooperation efforts with IFC will contribute to the development of offshore wind energy production in Azerbaijan, as well as the use of renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions,” he added.
IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia Wiebke Schloemer stated that one of the IFC’s strategic priorities in Azerbaijan is to support the country’s move to a new private-sector-led growth model.
“Helping the nation, rich in oil and gas resources, explore and develop offshore wind energy can increase private sector participation, while also supporting the energy transition. This will play a catalytic role, strengthening Azerbaijan’s infrastructure and tackling climate change,” the director noted.
According to the memorandum, cooperation with the IFC envisages initially an assessment of the potential of offshore wind power in Azerbaijan and the roadmap development. At the next stages, it envisages the tender management related to relevant offshore projects, the definition of partnerships with the private sector, and the implementation of auxiliary investments.
The work stipulated by the MoU will be implemented within the IFC Offshore Wind Development Program, which is funded by the World Bank`s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, ESMAP.
The technical potential of offshore wind energy in Azerbaijan is estimated at 157 gigawatts, according to a preliminary analysis provided by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program.
Azerbaijan became a member of the IFC in 1995. IFC has implemented a range of advisory projects aimed at encouraging private sector growth and provided $250 million for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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