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Azerbaijan increases volume of hydro electric power production

21 April 2016 12:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan increases volume of hydro electric power production

By Fatma Babayeva

Azerbaijan is constructing small hydro-power plants to increase the electricity generation from renewable sources. That will enable the country to develop alternative energy sources and to tap the nation's hydropower potential.

Azerbaijan almost completed the construction of three small hydro-electric power stations, announced the Azerenergy JSC on April 20.

The statement by the company says that construction works in three hydro-electric power stations are close to being completed. These hydropower plants are Ismayilli-2, Astara-1 and Oguz which respectively, has the capacity of 1.6, 0.3, and 3.6 megawatts.

In addition, the hydroelectric power plant Balakan-1 with installed capacity of 1.5 megawatts is ready for operation. The plant is already generating electricity in a testing mode.

Currently, the use of alternative energy sources (renewable) is widespread all over the world. It is important for solving ecology problems. The research results show that it is possible to build a hydroelectric power station on the mountain rivers and irrigation channels. In addition, the construction of this type of plants allows saving the fuel while producing electricity and has a positive impact on the environment.

The construction of small hydropower plants can address the issues with nationwide importance such as controlling floods, creating clean electricity and constructing new irrigation systems.

Over the last decade, Azerbaijan has inaugurated new power stations operating on modern technologies. As a result, the capacity of electricity generation system in the country has reached 7,149 megawatts.

One of the previously built small hydropower stations is Goychay plant with installed capacity of 3.1 megawatts. This HPS generated about 400 million kilowatts per hour of electricity in March and more than 746,000 kilowatt per hour of electricity during the first quarter of 2016.

The company's report highlights that the first hydroelectric power plant in Azerbaijan was built on Shamkir River in Galakend village of Gadabay region by Siemens brothers in the early 1880s in order to provide electricity to the copper-smelting plant.

The power generation potential of the rivers in Azerbaijan is estimated at 40 billion kilowatt per hour, and feasible potential is 16 billion kilowatt per hour.

Earlier, Azerbaijan faced problems with power supply of the population due to the outdated power plants and transmission lines during 2003-2004. However, thanks to the renewal of the existing infrastructure and construction of new power plants, the country not only managed to cover the domestic demand, but also began to export electricity.

The Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey energy bridge project which is underway will create great opportunities in terms of the exporting country's electricity.

The capacity of electricity generation system of Azerbaijan has boosted by 30 percent in the last five years.

Moreover, Azerbaijan plans to increase the share of renewable energy sources to 20 percent by 2020 from the current 10 percent.

According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, hydroelectric power plants of the country generated 376.7 million kilowatt per hour of electricity during the first quarter of 2016, which is 60.4 percent more compared to January-March 2015.

In total, 5.98 billion kilowatt per hour of electricity was produced in Azerbaijan in January-March 2016.

Overall, Azerbaijan produced more than 22.5 billion kilowatt per hour of electricity in 2015 compared to 22.7 billion kilowatt per hour produced in 2014.

Annual domestic electricity consumption in the country amounted to 20.29 billion kilowatt per hours in 2014.


Fatma Babayeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Fatma_Babayeva

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