Path to renewables is path to lasting peace in South Caucasus
BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 25
The entire region, indeed the world, stands to benefit from November 10, 2020 ceasefire brokered between Azerbaijan and Armenia, which ended one of the world’s longest-running conflicts, but perhaps the player with most to gain is Armenia, the article published by Modern Diplomacy said, Trend reports.
The report said that energy supply has long been a major problem for Armenia, not least owing to an energy blockade imposed throughout its illegal occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region. It is primarily dependent on imported fossil fuels from Iran and Russia, but sources the remainder of its energy from the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant – a Soviet-era relic, the only nuclear reactor in the Southern Caucasus, and widely regarded as one of the most dangerous nuclear plants in existence, the report said.
“Today, Armenia depends on this nuclear time bomb for more than 30 percent of its total electricity, an amount so large that the EU’s offer to finance its decommissioning to the tune of 200 million euros ($289 million) was refused,” the report said.
The report emphasized that with the lowering of the energy blockade, Armenia need no longer be reliant on Russia and Iran for fossil fuels.
“Whilst it is hardly common for an environmentalist to encourage the use of hydrocarbons, the peace dividend – in the short term – could be to connect Armenia to Azerbaijani gas and electricity grids, whilst rapidly upscaling the enormous potential for this sunny and mountainous nation for renewable energy to permanently wean the country from dangerous nuclear generation on a seismic belt crisscrossed by fault lines,” the report said.
The report added that mutual ambitions regarding renewable energy hold the promise of new industrial opportunities, job creation, and sustainable economic growth –and more than that, the transformation of a historic enmity into a fruitful and long-lasting partnership.