Author: Laila Tariverdeva
The use of alternative energy sources in the country is one of the strategic goals for the development of the Azerbaijani energy sector, which was set by President Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijan ratified the Paris Climate Agreement and voluntarily committed to reducing the level of emissions of gases that create a greenhouse effect by 35 percent by 2030 compared to the base year 1990. Currently, the share of renewable energy in the country’s total energy production is 17 percent. It is planned to raise these figures to 30 percent by 2030. The task is ambitious, but judging by the pace of its solution, we can expect not only fulfillment, but also over-implementation of the declared indicators.
On March 15, the foundation-laying ceremony for the Karadag solar power plant was held at the Golestan Palace in Baku. The UAE’s Masdar will build the 230 megawatt plant. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. In cooperation with the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail Al Mazrouei, they laid the foundation for the future plant.
President Ilham Aliyev attended the foundation stone laying ceremony for the Karadag solar power plant – photos Video
On the eve of the ceremony, four memoranda of understanding were signed between Azerbaijan and Masdar on production cooperation in the field of renewable energy sources. These are the notes: on a common understanding on cooperation in the field of integrated renewable energy at sea; On mutual understanding in the field of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency; On mutual understanding in the field of electricity production from municipal solid waste. On mutual understanding on cooperation in the field of renewable and clean energy in the Karabakh and East Zangezur economic regions.
The launch of the Karadag solar power plant is a very important event in terms of alternative energy development in Azerbaijan. This will prevent 200,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere annually, save large quantities of natural gas and expand the country’s export opportunities. After commissioning the plant, the volume of electricity production in Azerbaijan due to renewable energy sources will reach 3 billion kWh. The project faces global challenges, sustainable and diverse development goals for the country’s economy. The next decade should become a period of transition in Azerbaijan to large-scale use of “green energy”. The Head of State sets this task as one of the national priorities. The laying of the foundation stone for the station on March 15 was a major step that brought the country closer to achieving this goal. The Karadag Power Plant will be integrated into the power system of Azerbaijan by connecting it to the Janub substation.
It should be noted that on April 6, 2021, the Ministry of Energy, Azerenergy OJSC and Masdar signed an investment agreement, an energy purchase and sale agreement, and an agreement to connect to the transmission network for the construction of a solar power plant in Qardagh. In general, work in the direction of renewable energy began after the Order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan No. 1209 of May 29, 2019 “On Acceleration of Reforms in the Energy Sector”. The proposals of about 10 companies were carefully considered and analyzed, among them a source. Based on the results of the selection, on January 9, 2020, implementation agreements were signed between the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Azerbaijan with ACWA Power (Saudi Arabia) and Masdar (UAE) on the implementation of pilot renewable energy projects. The Saudi company has already started building a 240MW wind farm in the Khizi region.
President Ilham Aliyev said at the ceremony that the development of renewable energy is a priority for us.
President Ilham Aliyev invited international energy companies to invest in green energy projects in our liberated lands
In general, stability, economic development, relations with neighboring countries, development of transportation, construction of new power lines create a unique situation in which Azerbaijan will be not only a major producer and exporter of crude oil, oil and natural gas products, but also electricity. “I am sure that we are already witnessing manifestations of this work. We must also take into account that there is a great need for electricity in neighboring countries and on the European continent. We produce electricity only from environmentally friendly sources – natural gas and water, solar and wind energy. More I just want To say that the potential of renewable energy in Azerbaijan is huge. That is why now the leading energy companies of the world are interested in cooperating with Azerbaijan in this field. I am sure that we will launch new projects “in the near future”, said the Head of State.
Azerbaijan has all the conditions and opportunities – both natural and technological – to turn the country into a source not only of oil and gas, but also of electricity. Azerbaijan is known as a reliable partner that fulfills all its obligations towards foreign partners. Today, Azerbaijani electricity is already exported to four neighboring countries, with the growth of export potential, our electricity will be able to light light bulbs on the European continent. This goal can be facilitated by the efficient use of renewable energy sources. In this regard, the liberated areas have enormous potential. Accurate calculations have already been made of how much “green” electricity can be generated here. The liberated territories of Azerbaijan have a proven renewable energy potential of 7,200 MW from solar and 2,000 MW from wind energy.
In his address to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly in September last year, the Azerbaijani President called on international energy companies to invest in green energy projects in the liberated lands. Speaking at the current event in Golestan, President Ilham Aliyev noted that negotiations are already underway with BP regarding the construction of a solar power plant with a capacity of more than 200 MW in Zangilan-Gabriel region. The potential for renewable energy will increase significantly after the restoration of the small hydroelectric power stations destroyed by the Armenians during the occupation, and more than 30 were destroyed in the Kalbajar and Lachin regions. This year, it is planned to restore 5 HPP plants with a capacity of 27 MW. Azerbaijan has the capacity to implement all these projects. The level and pace of development of the Azerbaijani economy makes it possible to direct funds to restore energy capacities in the eastern Zangezur and Karabakh economic regions.
The country of the sun and wind – Azerbaijan and “green energy” – Our review
The head of state emphasized that international financial institutions, large foreign companies and investors are very interested in Azerbaijan’s opportunities. “Our policy is to ensure the further rapid development of the country, of course, primarily in the restoration of the liberated lands – this is a large land, more than 10,000 square kilometers – and at the same time to ensure the sustainable development of our country … It is an axiom that no country can develop without electricity . This is the first condition..This is the prerequisite..Fortunately there are rich oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, and these fields are being successfully exploited and developed.There are modern.Infrastructure – transport, communication and power lines connect us to export markets.There is a strong political will.We have Close partnerships with almost all countries of the world. We have many friends, one of whom is from the United Arab Emirates.” The combination of all these factors creates excellent opportunities that the country will use effectively, said Ilham Aliyev.
A few years ago, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) noted in its report the high potential of renewable energy in Azerbaijan. The report states that, “Despite its now reliance on oil and gas, the country has excellent wind and solar energy resources, along with significant potential for bioenergy, geothermal and hydropower projects.”
Indeed, according to experts, the potential of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan exceeds 25.3 thousand megawatts, which will generate 62.8 billion kWh of electricity. Solar is the leader in renewable energy in Azerbaijan, which has a production capacity of 5,000 megawatts. Next comes wind power – 4.5 thousand megawatts. Geothermal energy, river energy, including small rivers in mountainous regions, and others also have certain potential. And speaking of solar energy specifically, according to experts, the number of sunny hours in Azerbaijan reaches 2400-3200 during the year, which means that in our country the amount of sunlight that falls on the territory of the country is higher than in other countries. That is, we are the sunniest country in the world and it is a sin not to use this potential.
In short, three elements – wind, sun and water – will soon begin to define the map of Azerbaijan’s energy industry. This will be our country’s contribution to the fight for the environment and to the implementation of global goals related to climate change. And of course, “Green Energy” will release large quantities of gas that will be used to meet domestic needs and renew the country’s export potential.