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Baku Energy Forum - New green corridor boosts energy co-op between Azerbaijan, EU

New green corridor boosts energy co-op between Azerbaijan, EU

19.12.2022

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Within the framework of President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Romania, "Agreement between the governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary on strategic partnership in the field of development and transfer of green energy" was signed on December 17. This agreement essentially opened a new page in the energy cooperation between Azerbaijan and the EU, and laid the foundation for a green corridor connecting the South Caucasus with Europe.

Azerbaijan, which has already established itself as a reliable supplier of oil and gas, is now becoming a part of Europe’s green energy market, thereby further strengthening its position on the continent. In fact, this document is a continuation of the memorandum on cooperation in the energy sector signed in July this year between Azerbaijan and the EU, which, in addition to doubling the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, also provides for cooperation in the field of alternative energy, in particular, hydrogen production and methane emissions reduction.

The agreement signed serves the interests of both Azerbaijan and Europe in terms of the transition to clean energy. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is a country rich in oil and gas resources, it does not neglect global trends to reduce carbon emissions and act in accordance with the obligations under the Paris Agreement, which committed Azerbaijan to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030 from its 1990 baseline. Europe, in turn, wants to significantly reduce its dependence on hydrocarbons and increase the share of renewables in its energy mix.

Azerbaijan, which already plays an important role in Europe’s energy security, has sufficient potential to meet the needs of its partners in the field of alternative energy.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his speech at the plenary session dedicated to the signing ceremony of the above mentioned agreement said that Azerbaijan’s renewable energy potential is more than 27 gigawatt of wind and solar power on shore, and 157 gigawatt of wind power in Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea.

"Together with one of our country`s strategic investor, we plan to implement 3 gigawatt of wind and one gigawatt of solar power by 2027, 80 percent of which will be exported. By 2037, we plan to create an additional capacity of at least 6 gigawatt. Thus, only one global energy company is planning to invest in creation of 10 gigawatt of green energy in Azerbaijan," the Head of State said.

President Ilham Aliyev noted that two days ago, the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan signed a framework agreement with another global energy company. This company is planning to invest in creation of up to 12 gigawatt of wind and solar energy in Azerbaijan.

"So, at least 3 gigawatt of additional transmission capacity should be created for the first phase of Azerbaijani export," the President said.

Moreover, the potential of green energy development in the territories of Azerbaijan liberated from Armenian occupation will also help the country to become an important supplier of renewable energy. Within the framework of the "First State Program on the Great Return", the Government of Azerbaijan is working to restore the key energy infrastructure necessary for successful economic development in these territories.

Thus, from 2023 through 2025, the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan will study and assess the prospects for the use of renewable energy, namely hydropower, geothermal energy and bioenergy, as well as hydrogen technologies and energy storage, and hydroaccumulation activities.

Meanwhile, by 2026, the construction of a 240 MW solar power plant in the Zangilan-Jabrail zoneis envisaged to be carried out together with bp, as well as the construction of a wind power plant with a total capacity of about 400 MW in the Lachin or Kalbajar districts is planned at the expense of private investments.

The Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan will be also engaged in the attraction of private investments in reconstruction works and the construction of new hydropower plants. At the same time, "Azerenergy" JSC will be working on the restoration of decommissioned small hydroelectric power stations and, in total, will provide 23 small hydroelectric power stations by 2025. Thus, "Azerenergy" plans to build 28 new small hydropower stations from 2022 to 2025, while bringing the number of small hydropower stations to 37 by 2026. Also, the construction of the "Khudafarin" hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 100 MW and the "Gyz Galasi" hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 40 MW will be completed by 2025.

Also, the Ministry of Energy will implement pilot projects on green technologies in 2022-2023.

Thus, Azerbaijan’s potential in renewables could play a major role in diversifying energy sources in Europe and achieving its targets for reducing hydrocarbon emissions. By attracting large foreign investments in renewable energy projects, Azerbaijan will significantly strengthen its economy, as well as ensure energy security of its partners.


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