By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan, which has been developing alternative energy in the country for over a decade, will start construction on alternative energy plants abroad in the near future.
Azerbaijan will build a solar power plant in Germany, Akim Badalov, the head of the State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, said on October 20.
The capacity of the plant will be 10 megawatts, he said, adding that the contract for the construction of the plant will be signed in the near future.
Badalov said also negotiations are underway on the construction of a solar power plant in Turkey.
The State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources was established in 2013. The volume of investments made in the development of the alternative energy sphere in Azerbaijan reached 63.6 million manat in 2014. The greatest portion of these investments, 34.9 million manat, was allocated to the development of the solar energy sphere, while 28.7 million manat went toward wind power.
In total, around 800 million manats have been invested in this sphere in Azerbaijan since 2000. Up to 100 alternative energy objects are planned for construction in Azerbaijan in the next five years.
The Agency has recently built a new wind plant, Yeni Yashma, with a capacity to generate 50 MW. The country also plans to use the windy Caspian Sea to expand its alternative energy potential. Wind farms are expected to be built offshore in an area marked by great winds.
Moreover, Akim Badalov said that tariffs for alternative energy in Azerbaijan might be approved before the start of next year.
Proposals on tariffs have already been sent to the relevant structures, he added.
“Tariffs will not be single and will vary depending on the region. This is due to the fact that, for instance in mountain areas, there are problems with logistics,” said Badalov.
For eight years in a row, the country has a single retail electricity tariff of 0.06 manat ($0.057) per kilowatt-hour with the wholesale price no higher than 0.041 manat ($0.039).
Next year, Azerbaijan plans to introduce tariffs for electricity produced from renewable and alternative sources, which will exceed the wholesale price of electricity existing in the country at present.
It is expected that the tariffs for the sale of electricity from alternative sources to consumers will remain at the current level. Currently, the prices at which electricity will be transmitted to the operator are under discussion.
The draft law ‘On renewable energy sources’, submitted to the government, accounts for the issue of the transfer of electricity produced by alternative method to the overall distribution network.
Currently, the total capacity of power generation in Azerbaijan is 7.2 thousand megawatts, which allows the country to produce annually about 24 billion kilowatt-hours and export 2.1 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.
It is expected that in 2015, the volume of production of electricity from alternative and renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan will reach 2.6 billion kilowatt/hours per year. This means fuel savings of roughly million tons, as the most energy losses at fixed power, and work is currently underway in the country to reduce them.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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