By Leman Mammadova
BP and Azerbaijani Energy Ministry signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly explore potential opportunities for the development of renewable energy in the country on December 18.
The memorandum was signed in the context of the recent announcement by the government of Azerbaijan that it is developing a regulatory framework for renewables in the country, BP told Trend.
Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov said at the signing ceremony that increasing alternative and renewable energy production and raising their role in the energy security are currently important issues to be solved, as set by the head of state of Azerbaijan.
“We are currently studying the international experience, developing the country’s legal framework and conducting consultations with international companies for the development of renewable energy. With the document we signed today, what Azerbaijan has accomplished in the area of renewable energy sources will enter a new stage of development. I believe our long cooperation with BP based on a strong partnership in the oil and gas sector will be beneficial for the renewable energy sector as well, enabling us to contribute together to the development of clean energy,” the minister noted.
BP's Regional President for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, Gary Jones said that BP supports the legislative framework being developed in Azerbaijan for the renewable energy sector.
The company looks forward to working with the Azerbaijani government to understand and jointly explore the potential renewables opportunities in the country, he added.
“Globally, we have been in the renewables sector for more than 20 years and have a great deal of experience to share with the country. Renewable power production is expected to remain the fastest growing form of energy in the world as the energy mix is shifting towards lower carbon sources. We welcome the recent announcements by the Government to develop a regulatory framework for renewables and are pleased to have signed today’s MoU to help the country’s efforts in this area," Jones noted.
BP has been operating in the renewable energy sector for more than 20 years. Today BP is one of the best wind and solar power producers in the world although its investments in renewable energy resources are less than oil and gas.
Hydrocarbons, which are the traditional source of energy used by the world for many years, are gradually being run out and, thus, make the use of alternative and renewable energy sources urgent. By 2030, energy demand in the world will increase by 45 percent.
The favorable geographic location and climatic conditions allow the widespread use of environmentally friendly alternative energy sources in Azerbaijan.
Most of the potential on the renewable energy in Azerbaijan accounts for the solar energy estimated at 5000 megawatts. Wind power accounts for 4,500 megawatts, biomass - 1,500 megawatts, geothermal energy - 800 megawatts, and the rest 350 megawatts - the potential small hydropower plants.
The potential of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan exceeds 25,300 megawatts, which allows producing 62.8 billion kilowatt/hour of electricity per year.
Aiming to lessen its dependency on oil, Azerbaijan impelments a number of measures for further development of alternative energy sector.
The State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources plans to implement 23 projects worth 13 million manats as part of the strategic roadmap for the development of public services in 2018-2020.
The projects cover the construction of 420 megawatt wind, water and biofuel power plants. The capacity of wind power stations will be 350 megawatts, solar power stations will be 50 megawatts, and biofuel power plants will be equal to 20 megawatts.
Currently, the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources negotiates with a number of foreign investors to finance projects for wind power plants in the Caspian Sea to develop renewable energy supply.
It should be noted that Energy Ministry and Norway's Equinor plan to cooperate in alternative and renewable energy sources.
Moreover, "green" power station is expected to be created at the Baku International Sea Trade Port.
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