Azerbaijan’s active corporation with international organizations in the green energy field (ANALYTICS)

Azerbaijan, like many countries, has been increasingly focusing on green energy in recent years. Despite being a major oil and gas producer, Azerbaijan recognizes the importance of diversifying its energy sources for sustainability and environmental reasons.

Azerbaijan has been collaborating with international organizations and partners to enhance its renewable energy sector. This includes participation in initiatives such as the European Union's Eastern Partnership program, which aims to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region, cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and so on.

EBRD, the primary financial agency of the European Union, and Azerbaijan are increasing their collaboration in the areas of power and the "green" agenda. For instance, the autotransformer equipment for the nation's under-construction substations will be purchased with a $30 million loan from Azerenerji OJSC, which will shortly receive approval from the EBRD board of directors.

"Green energy is a key priority for Azerbaijan, and in this regard, the EBRD is working very closely with the Ministries of Energy and Economy and is actively supporting decarbonization programs in the country at both the investment and policy levels," said Kamola Mahmudova, Head of the EBRD's Azerbaijan Country Office.

The EBRD's priority in the 2019–2024 country strategy has switched to cooperation in energy efficiency projects, alternative energy, green economy initiatives, and building infrastructure for electricity exports to accomplish these aims. One of the initial efforts in this regard was a 10 million euro loan for a project to upgrade street lighting in the city of Ganja, specifically under the EU's Green Cities Programme (GCAP). This project will introduce energy-efficient lighting sources and automated control and monitoring systems that will save energy and lower network maintenance costs.

The EBRD believes that the successful implementation of the new project will serve as an example for further grid reinforcement projects, which are crucial for the integration of renewable energy projects into the country's grid.

Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Perviz Shahbazov recently stated that "Azerbaijan expects to integrate eight wind and solar power plants into the national energy system by 2027 with the financial support of international financial organizations (IFIs)". According to the energy minister, financial support from the EBRD, World Bank structures, and other leading IFIs will be actively used for this purpose.

The field of activity is very wide: today, large-scale construction of substations has begun in liberated Azerbaijani territories. In the future, these substations and the new high-capacity power lines that are being laid will be used to transport the "green" electricity generated by the energy complex of small hydroelectric, solar, and wind power plants that are being built in Garabagh and Eastern Zangezur to Türkiye and other countries in the region. Including the newly constructed 330/110-kilovolt Jabrayil substation, the largest in the region, the electricity will be transmitted through the Zangezur Corridor Power System, where another 255-kilometre transmission line will be laid to NAR, where a Shakhtakhty substation of similar capacity will also be built. Another substation will then be built on the Nakhchivan section of the border with Türkiye to convert 330 kilovolts to 400 kilovolts, from where a 230-kilometre dual-circuit 400-kilovolt transmission line will be laid to Türkiye.

However, the potential for working with the EBRD doesn't only lie in the Garabagh region, which has been declared a "green" zone. Extensive construction of substations, transmission lines, and renewable energy facilities will soon begin in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. In particular, the construction of Ordubad HPP with a capacity of 36 MW, and Tivi HPP with a capacity of 15.6 MW will continue in 2024. In 2023-2024, the overhaul of the water channel of Bilyav HPP is planned, as well as the reconstruction of the oldest HPP in the region, Araz, and the overhaul of the Nakhchivan modular power plant with a capacity of 87 MW. In addition, with the support of European and other companies, NAR plans to build solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 1,500 MW, with about two-thirds of the electricity to be exported to EU countries, including transit through Türkiye.

In addition to the year-on-year increase in gas supplies through the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC), Azerbaijan is also planning to increase its exports of electricity to the European Union. These new trends fit well with the EU's partnership strategy with Azerbaijan in the field of energy security, recently reiterated by European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen. Accordingly, the EBRD's next country program will take into account Azerbaijan's initiatives in the field of renewable energy, the development of energy export cables, and the supply of green hydrogen.

In particular, the EBRD plans to participate in the development of offshore wind energy in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, as well as in the project to lay the Black Sea Energy cable with a capacity of 1000 MW and a length of 1195 km under the Black Sea. With the support of the EBRD, work is underway to develop a hydrogen strategy for Azerbaijan: an inter-ministerial working group has been set up to develop the strategy in 2021, and the consulting firm Advision is participating in the development of the Low Carbon Hydrogen Economy Market Study with the participation of Eurobank. Cooperation with the EBRD on energy efficiency projects in the municipal sector is also promising: over time, components of the Green Cities program could be extended to other municipalities in the country, including the Garabagh region.

Moreover, the 29th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) will be held in Azerbaijan in 2024.

The decision was made at the plenary session of COP28 on December 11.

Azerbaijan confirmed the commitment to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 35 percent by 2030 and increase this target by 40 percent by 2050. Fulfilling the commitments under the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015 and actively working in this regard are priority issues for the government of Azerbaijan.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has signed an Order declaring 2024 as the “Green World Solidarity Year” in the country.

The Order underscores the Republic of Azerbaijan’s role as a reliable and responsible member of the international community, actively contributing to the fight against the consequences of climate change.

Emphasizing one of Azerbaijan's five national priorities for socio-economic development until 2030, articulated as the "Country of Clean Environment and Green Growth," the Order outlines ongoing initiatives to enhance environmental conditions, rehabilitate and expand green spaces, and ensure the efficient utilization of water resources and sustainable energy alternatives.

On March 1, Baku hosted the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting.

European Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson at the meeting noted that Green energy is a key part of EU-Azerbaijan relations.

Kadri Simson emphasized the Caspian Sea's significant potential for renewable energy, noting that Azerbaijan, along with the European Union and other international partners, took part in COP28, which endorsed a global initiative to triple renewable energy and double energy efficiency by 2030.

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The article focuses on the theme of "Ecology and environmental protection"

The article was published with the support of the Media Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MEDIA)

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