Azerbaijan, Turkiye looking to play important role in decarbonization of EU - Altuğ Karataş
Azerbaijan - after the successful implementation of mega oil and gas projects that increased its GDP by 174 times, launched a new mega energy project, which intends to produce and export electricity generated from renewable sources. Azerbaijan has 200 GW of renewable energy potential, and the government intends to produce some of them, and export to Europe through the Georgia - Black Sea and Georgia - Turkiye and Zangazur-Turkiye routes. To realize this project, Azerbaijan signed contracts with the companies specialized in this field such as Masdar, bp, and ACWA Power in the production of renewable energy, and inked agreements with European countries for export.
It is expected that electricity will be the third biggest item in the export of Azerbaijan after oil and gas in the 2030s. However, Azerbaijan's electricity export increased by 8 times in terms of price and by 4 times in volume and the bulk of electricity export diverted to Turkiye. If Azerbaijan keeps the increase in this way, at the end of the year the export will reach $1bn. The increase in electricity export to Turkiye raised questions and interest in Azerbaijan.
In a comment on the issue for Azernews, Economist Altug Karatas noted that in reality, the total electricity imports of Turkiye from abroad have decreased. He noted that with Turkiye's diversification of energy sources, its dependence on energy imports is decreasing.
“However, there has been an increase in the amount of electricity imported from Azerbaijan. This indicates that Turkiye prefers Azerbaijani electricity over other alternatives for its electricity imports. With the slogan "One nation, two states," it is foreseeable that Turkiye will import more electricity from Azerbaijan in the coming period,” the economist noted.
He also noted that Turkiye's annual economic growth is around 5%, and the average annual increase in electricity demand over the last twenty years has been around 4%.
“This situation shows that Azerbaijan can be a good alternative for electricity supply. Within the scope of developing relations, not only electricity but also green hydrogen produced from renewable energy can be a way out for the European Union through the Turkiye-Azerbaijan partnership. Azerbaijan and Turkiye are expected to play an important role in the decarbonization of the European Union,” he emphasized.
As for further increment of electricity import from Azerbaijan, the economist pointed out that the current total electricity import figures of Turkiye are much higher than the electricity figures imported from Azerbaijan.
“With the resolution of the independence struggle of Karabakh and the opening of the Zangazur corridor, Turkiye's energy needs will be met in the future. In addition, just as Turkiye has a transit country role in natural gas, it will also be Azerbaijan's biggest partner in meeting Europe's energy needs in electricity. All these developments indicate an increase in the import of other energy types in natural gas, electricity, and decarbonization pathways,” the expert added.
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