By Nigar Orujova
Nations of the world have reached the point when it is not only time to think about the next generation and its possible recourses, but also act to find these new and safe sources of the energy.
Azerbaijan, the country known in the world for its rich hydrocarbon recourses, enjoys vast opportunities to develop alternative energy sources and the country already took steps in this regard.
Currently, the share of alternative energy in the total energy production in Azerbaijan exceeds 7 percent. By 2020, the country plans to increase this figure up to 20 percent.
The nation can reach the set goals by investing hard and opening more alternative plants throughout the country. The noble aim of 20 percent requires as much as 7 billion manats ($6.7 billion) of capital investment, and the foreign investors show interest in the alternative energy projects of Azerbaijan.
The volume of investment made in the development of the alternative energy sector exceeded $60 million in 2014.
Today, when the oil prices have fallen dramatically, the country stays the course and opens new alternative energy sites.
Azerbaijan has recently inaugurated the Solar Power Plant in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. The 20 megawatts plant houses some 78,684 modern glass solar panels.
More than 30 different types of technique and more than 400 workers have been involved in the project, which is implemented under an agreement between the State Energy Agency of Nakhchivan and Belgian Soltech company.
This Solar Power Plant will produce more than 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, playing leading part in energy supply of Nakhchivan entirely from local resources. Thus, one region of the country will take advantage of eco-friendly energy source in the future.
The country is also planning to complete another project of a solar power plant next year.
The Garadagh-Sangachal Solar Power Plant will have custody of nearly 36,000 solar panels produced with the latest technologies. With its total capacity of 9 MW, the plant will ensure electricity needs of the Sangachal settlement and the whole Garadagh district.
Next year will also see the full launch of wind farm Yeni Yashma in Khizi region. The plant will have a capacity to generate 50 MW with its 20 turbines.
Another project to build a ‘wind fleet’ in the Caspian Sea is even more ambitious, as the offshore of the Caspian Sea has a huge potential of wind.
The 200-MW project in the Caspian Sea will be built between the two oil-extracting platforms near the Pirallahi Island.
The project of the first offshore wind power is now under consideration by the relevant ministries and departments, which will have to provide their feedback.
Jamil Malikov, the deputy head of the State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources told Day.az that this project is an initiative of the State Agency. Its cost is estimated at about 450 million euros, most of which should be attracted.
Full development of the project will be completed in the 2017-2018, and the construction may take up to 3 years.
Within next five years, Azerbaijan plans to build up to 100 facilities for alternative energy.
The country that gathers experience in this field for over 10 years, has already offered its capacities abroad. Germany will be one of the first countries where Azerbaijan will build a solar power plant. The negotiations are underway on the construction of a solar power plant in Turkey as well.
Thus, the country is not only developing alternative sources inland, but also promotes the ecologically safe energy recourses abroad, to make the world a shade better place in the future.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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