TODAY.AZ / Politics

President Ilham Aliyev takes part in opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week [UPDATE]

16 January 2023 [11:31] - TODAY.AZ

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has attended the official opening ceremony of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week held in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

The head of state addressed the opening ceremony.

Speech by President Ilham Aliyev

- Your Excellency, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President of the UAE.

Heads of state and government.

Ladies and gentlemen.

First of all, I’d like to express gratitude to the President of the UAE for inviting me to attend this important gathering. It’s a big honor for me to speak in front of this audience. Yesterday, we had an excellent meeting with Mr. President and once again confirmed the strategic importance of relationship between the UAE and Azerbaijan in many areas. Using this opportunity, I’d like to express gratitude to all our hosts.

I want to congratulate the President and the people of the UAE with tremendous achievements in rapid development. Under your leadership, Mr. President, the UAE transformed into world’s one of the most stable, developed and successful countries. And we, your brothers in Azerbaijan, are really proud of what you are doing.

We in Azerbaijan developed renewable sources of energy not in order to provide our energy security. We did it many years ago. Today, Azerbaijan not only satisfies its all needs with energy, but also is exporting crude oil, oil products, natural gas, petrochemicals, electricity. Our program with respect to renewables has completely different agenda. First, because it’s an enormous potential. Second, because it will help us to diversify our export and, of course, it will create a new ecologically-friendly sector of our economy.

Azerbaijan just two years ago completed together with its partners a mega energy project, Southern Gas Corridor, an integrated pipeline system which stretches from Azerbaijan to Southern Europe and has a length of 3500 km.

Our export of natural gas is growing from 19 billion cubic meters last year to 24 billion cubic meters this year, and it will continue to grow. Therefore, once again, I would like to say that our vision for Azerbaijan to be one of the centers of renewable energy source is not energy security for Azerbaijan. But we do it for different reasons, which I already announced.

With respect to our potential, just a couple of figures for your attention. 27 gigawatts of wind and solar onshore, 10 gigawatts of wind and solar energy in the territories which have been liberated during the Patriotic War of 2020, and 157 gigawatts of wind energy in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea - almost 200 gigawatts of potential. Of course, we need to have enough export routes. And of course, to implement all these projects in stages.

Yesterday, MASDAR and Azerbaijan’s national energy company SOCAR signed an agreement to develop four gigawatts wind and solar power plants in Azerbaijan, and this is only a short-term project. Mid-term projects will increase the volume up to 10 gigawatts. And this is absolutely doable. We have a roadmap for that. This project, only this project, our cooperation with MASDAR will transform Azerbaijan into a very important source of green energy exports.

In total, MoUs and agreements signed by Azerbaijan with the international energy companies will allow us to produce up to 22 gigawatts of wind and solar energy.

And, of course, for that purpose we need export routes, as I already mentioned. And just last month, 17th of December, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and Romania signed an agreement to build a Black Sea sea-belt electric cable from the Black Sea coast of Georgia to the Black Sea coast of Romania. And this agreement was witnessed by the President of European Commission. So, our plan is to build a cable which will allow to transport green energy from Azerbaijan at the level of four gigawatts. But that will not be enough. This is only what has already been agreed. Our plans are much broader.

Investment climate in Azerbaijan is very positive, and we accumulated a lot of investments in oil and gas sector. But now our target is renewables. So, in other words, we have great plans. And I am sure that we will succeed.

Thank you very much.


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