Azerbaijan’s plans for green energy – way to realizing gigantic potential
President of Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev endorsed the “Strategy for socio-economic development of Azerbaijan for 2022-2026,” Azernews reports.
This document sets a clear plan for the development of all sectors of the Azerbaijani economy.
The strategy provides for quite ambitious plans for ‘green’ energy, the implementation of which will bring the development of this area to a completely new level. Therefore, it is planned to create an energy hub – ‘Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan – Türkiye – Europe’ by 2026.
Under the project, a high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) electric power transmission system and a 230-kilometer long double-circuit power line with a capacity of 400 kilowatts will be built. This will allow the direct export of electricity to Türkiye.
The alternative energy infrastructure will be expanded through a public-private partnership during this period. Measures will be taken to encourage the involvement of the private sector in this energy infrastructure.
The construction and commissioning of the approved number of power plants operating on renewable energy sources (RES) will also be ensured. Therefore, it is planned to increase the share of RES in total electricity generation in Azerbaijan.
According to the strategy, Azerbaijan will develop pilot projects on the usage of geothermal and biomass energy, define pilot projects and ensure annual positive dynamics in this sphere. Moreover, research on the potential of marine wind energy and preparations for its usage are envisaged.
In this regard, relevant structures should prepare proposals. Preparations for the usage of marine wind energy in public-private partnerships are expected to be completed by the end of 2026.
Azerbaijan will also encourage the creation and operation of independent electricity suppliers. Proposals for the establishment of independent suppliers to the electricity system, ensuring their operation, and improving the electricity supply are envisaged during this period.
The strategy also envisages that the state program on low-carbon development will be prepared in Azerbaijan. It will be developed in the period from 2022 through 2024.
Azerbaijan’s National Electromobility Development Plan will be prepared by 2024, the operation of clean and safe vehicles (cars, buses, etc.) will be promoted, and the necessary infrastructure will be created.
It is planned to research the potential in the sphere of hydrogen production and use in Azerbaijan, in the period from 2022 through 2023, and also to formulate proposals for pilot projects in this sphere. Moreover, research is planned to be conducted in the energy sector on the application of energy storage systems and carbon capture, usage, and storage technologies, and proposals made.
Azerbaijani economic expert Emin Garibli believes that the implementation of all these goals will make it possible to turn Azerbaijan into an international energy hub and strengthen its position as a reliable supplier of energy resources.
“There is great potential for the development of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan, several new power plants are being built to produce ‘green’ energy. The EU and Azerbaijan have recently emphasized the need to research the development of power lines, including through the Black Sea and Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan,” Garibli said.
“The ‘Strategy for socio-economic development of Azerbaijan for 2022-2026’ provides for the creation of an energy hub Azerbaijani Nakhchivan – Türkiye – Europe,” he noted.
“This is indeed a very ambitious plan. Currently, Azerbaijan is developing gas fields, and in the future, obtaining electricity from renewable sources will allow us to increase our importance in Europe and in the world as an exporter of gas and green electricity, while Azerbaijan will be able to integrate into the European energy system,” Garibli added.
He also emphasized the need to apply new technologies in the renewable energy sphere, which will allow development not only in production but also in science and education, which will enable Azerbaijan to integrate into the European scientific system.
“These plans will allow Azerbaijan to become an international hub and soon integrate into the world economy. Azerbaijan knows its priorities, and all state structures will work in that direction. The government’s strategy will make it possible to achieve these objectives more effectively. I believe that appropriate preferences will be presented in order to achieve these goals,” Garibli said.
“Azerbaijan has already established itself as a reliable supplier of oil and natural gas, and we are on the way to the development of ‘green’ energy and we intend to have our say in this sphere as well,” he said.
Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is a country rich in oil and gas resources, we do not neglect global trends to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and act in accordance with our obligations under the Paris Agreement, which committed Azerbaijan to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030 from its 1990 baseline.
It is no coincidence that the recently signed memorandum of understanding between the EU and Azerbaijan, in addition to increasing the supply of gas by 2027, also reflects plans for cooperation in the usage of hydrogen and the reduction of methane emissions.