TODAY.AZ / Business

No alternative to renewable energy

26 May 2020 [14:48] - TODAY.AZ

By  Trend

Azerbaijan intends to further develop alternative energy sphere gradually by increasing the share of renewables in electricity generation, Azerbaijani MP, Doctor of Economics, Professor Rufat Guliyev told Day.az, Trend reports.

In this regard, the MP highlighted Yeni Yashma wind farm inaugurated in October 2018 in Khizi district, which is the largest one in the South Caucasus.

“The capacity of the wind farm located on the territory of Yeni Yashma and Shurabad villages in Khizi district is 50 MW. Twenty wind turbines reconstructed by the German Berlin Wind company produce about 9 million kW / h of energy per month, increasing the share of alternative energy in the country's total electricity production from 0.7 percent to 1.8 percent,” said Guliyev.

The MP recalled the remarks made by Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev at the Energy Security Roundtable as part of the Munich Security Conference.

President Ilham Aliyev said in his speech that Azerbaijan is paying a lot of attention to renewable energy sphere.

“Our plan is to provide 30 percent of electricity through renewable energy by 2030. In January this year, we signed two agreements on the construction of 440MW wind and solar energy stations with leading companies specializing in renewable energy. This work will be fully implemented through foreign investment. In this connection, we have at least five more proposals,” said President Ilham Aliyev.

As for the role of renewable energy, it has no alternative, said Guliyev.

“We are at the beginning of the end of the oil and gas era and the COVID-19 pandemic has even more accelerated this process. However, President Ilham Aliyev foresaw these processes long before this. Therefore, Azerbaijan’s economic policy has for many years been focused on the development of the non-oil sector and alternative energy,” noted the MP.

He pointed out that renewable energy is a very interesting topic both in theory and in practice.

“This sphere is being developed in almost all the leading countries of the world. However, the share of alternative energy sources in the world is relatively small. If we take the energy sector as a whole, the share of renewable energy sources will be a maximum of 5-6 percent. But this figure is growing every year,” Guliyev explained.

He believes that alternative energy is a solution to both environmental problems and the general problems of civilization.

“The sun, wind, water, even temperature differences can be sources of renewable energy. There are a lot of options. However, the biggest obstacle to accelerating the use of alternative energy is its high cost, as well as difficulties with its accumulation and storage, which requires very powerful batteries. This is the only reason why alternative energy lags behind the traditional energy. However, science is keeping on developing. Progress is ongoing, and the use of alternative energy is increasing every year,” said Guliyev.

Each country chooses its own option, he said.

“For example, the Netherlands prioritizes wind energy, while the countries with at least 270 days of sunshine per year are focusing on solar energy. Some countries prefer tidal energy. More and more power plants are built on small mountain rivers. Such plants do not provide a lot of energy, but their capacity is enough to supply electricity to a small village.”

The economist noted that investments in the alternative energy industry have grown in recent years, and scientific research in this area has expanded. “More and more foreign investors are showing interest in this sphere in Azerbaijan. This industry is not so expanded in Azerbaijan as in Europe and some US states. But Azerbaijan has huge potential for development of alternative energy.”

"The total economic potential of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan is estimated by experts at 26,900 megawatts, of which 23,000 megawatts account for solar energy, 3,000 megawatts for wind energy, 520 megawatts for hydropower, and 380 megawatts for bioenergy. At the same time, the share of renewable energy sources, including hydropower resources, in the total consumption of primary energy is still 18 percent. It is planned to bring this figure to 30 percent by 2030,” said Rufat Guliyev.

Samukh agro-energy residential complex is one of the interesting projects in Azerbaijan’s renewable energy sphere.

The complex consists of a hybrid station that produces solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy from renewable energy sources, as well as sites for the collection, processing and sale of energy-rich agricultural products, and combines high technology and modern management systems. The complex in Samukh is one of the constituent parts of the three-stage Energy Development Model implemented in Azerbaijan.

This is the first experience when the energy demand of the country’s entire region with a population of 50,000 people will be covered only by local sources.

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