Georgia establishes renewable energy fund
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 20 / Trend E. Ostapenko /
With support from UNDP the German Development Bank (KfW) has launched a 5 million euro Georgia Renewable Energy Fund for the development of small hydro power plants, UNDP said.
The renewable energy fund is the first of its kind in Georgia and currently the only source of low interest loans for developers of small hydro projects in the country.
The fund was established with the assistance of UNDP and the German Development Bank (KfW)
Georgia has 26,000 rivers and a potential for 15,000 megawatts of hydroelectricity.
An estimated 68 terawatt-hours (TwH) is technically feasible - 32 TwH of which is estimated to be economically feasible - but currently only 11 percent has been developed.
A 2.2 million euro loan from KfW is going towards rehabilitating the Khadori-2 hydropower plant in Pankisi Gorge, one of the poorest regions in Georgia, tripling its design capacity from 1.6 megawatts to 5.4 megawatts.
Khadori-2 is the second hydro power plant that will be built or rehabilitated with the KfW funding. Last year, with a loan of 2.1 million euros, the rehabilitation works were launched at the Ritseula small hydro power plant in the mountainous region of Racha, in western Georgia.
"For national economies, even a small economy like Georgia, renewable energy can play an important role in promoting sustainable economic growth and in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," said Sophie Kemkhadze, Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP in Georgia.
Two Georgian banks - TBC and VTB will receive a low-interest rate, preferential loan from the Renewable Energy Fund at the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure of Georgia.