By Nigar Abbasova
Energy-rich Azerbaijan will define mechanisms necessary for the improvement of efficiency in the energy sphere. The measure is envisaged in the Strategic Road Map for the development of utilities, particularly electricity and thermal energy, water and gas supply.
The document also defined two main objectives related to the retail sales component of the energy sphere. The first objective is to reach the European level of energy efficiency reducing the amount of energy required to provide products and services in industrial and commercial spheres.
The second objective stipulates creation of necessary infrastructure for the operation of electric cars, while the use of such cars in the country is expected to start in 2020. Besides, relevant agencies will consider decommissioning of non-efficiently operating stations.
The country plans to increase its energy efficiency by 20 percent until 2020.
Also, “Azerenergy” JSC, the biggest power producer of Azerbaijan, Energy Ministry and other relevant agencies will consider the issue of privatization of power stations. Besides, the institutions will soon announce a tender on the selection of investors.
The document also stipulates for the development of renewable energy sources. Investments worth over 1 billion manats will be required for the construction of new wind, solar, and bioenergy plants.
The country plans to increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix from the current 16 up to 20 percent.
Relevant agencies will firstly conduct a thorough study of the potential existing in the sphere and define the regions with the highest level of potential. Secondly, the agencies will define requirements for the connection to the distribution system, for instance, the quality of electric energy, share of renewable energy in the total volume produced in the substation. The final stage will prioritize attraction of investments to the regions with the highest capacity and define a plan and schedule of activities on this direction.
Azerbaijan currently generates power through hydroelectric, wind and solar power plants, as well as biogas installations.
A lion’s share of the country’s capacity in this area accounts for solar energy, while the potential is estimated at 5,000 megawatts. Some 4,500 megawatts accounts for wind power, 1,500 megawatts – for biomass, 800 megawatts - for geothermal energy, and the remaining 350 megawatts - for the potential of small hydro power plants (HPP).