By Rasana Gasimova
By 2030, the share of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan’s total electricity generation capacity, including large hydroelectric power stations is expected to increase from the current 17 percent to 30 percent, Deputy Energy Minister Elnur Soltanov has said.
Addressing the training seminar on the development of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan held on February 20, Soltanov noted that the first successful step in achieving renewable energy targets is the implementation of 440 MW wind and solar projects with ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia) and Masdar (UAE). These projects reflect the existing tariffs in the country and do not envisage any government subsidies.
The minister stressed that the development of the renewable energy sector with the attraction of the private investment is one of the main objectives of the energy sector reform course pursued in the country.
Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Novruz Guliyev said that the ministry supports efforts to reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere.
“Today, electricity generation from renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan is over 8 percent. We can further increase these indicators and contribute to the environmental and energy security… Most importantly, alternative energy sources have no negative impact on the environment,” he noted.
During the event, it was noted that the potential of economically and technically feasible renewable energy sources in the country is 26,940 MW, including 3,000 MW of wind energy, 23,040 MW of solar energy, 380 MW of bionergy, 520 MW of mountain rivers.
After the completion of 440 MW pilot projects, the ministry plans to carry out auctions.
Activities on measuring the potential of renewable energy sources in selected areas, identifying and adapting lands for auction, conducting preliminary environmental, social assessments and geological surveys, evaluation of power infrastructure, procurement of electricity, development of accession agreements are being implemented to conduct auctions on renewable energy zones.
Azerbaijan is actively working to develop its renewable energy sources. The Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy has signed executive agreements with Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Powercompany and the UAE’s Masdar company on the implementation of pilot renewable energy projects.
According to the agreements, pilot projects will be implemented with ACWA Power for the construction of a 240-megawatt wind farm, and with Masdar for the construction of a 200-megawatt solar power station. The projects are expected to produce 1.4 billion kilowatt / hours of electricity per year.
Currently, 91.9 percent of electricity in Azerbaijan is produced from traditional sources of energy (natural gas), while 8.1 percent of electricity is produced from renewable sources. Taking the capacities of large hydroelectric power plants into account, the share of renewable energy sources in the production of electricity is 17 percent (1,276 MW).
The seminar was organized by Energy Ministry together and Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and was attended by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power company, UAE’s Masdar, and a number of government agencies and international organizations.
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