BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan.14
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The Khizi-Absheron wind farm will increase overall energy security of Azerbaijan, Cyril Widdershoven, a Middle East geopolitical specialist and energy analyst, a partner at Dutch risk consultancy VEROCY, and Global Head Strategy Risk at Berry Commodities told Trend.
On January 13, Baku hosted the groundbreaking ceremony for the Khizi-Absheron wind farm with a capacity of 240 megawatt (MW) that will be built by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power.
The construction of the station will take nearly 18 months. The station will be located in the Khizi and Absheron regions. After commissioning, this power plant is expected to produce 1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year. This means that about 300,000 homes will be provided with electricity. The project will attract $300 million of foreign investment. The station will save 220 million cubic meters of natural gas, which means preventing the emission of 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“The impact is positive, as it will not only generate a significant amount of electricity, but also will increase overall energy security of the country. In how far the effects will be straightaway visible depends on Azerbaijan’s current electricity grid distribution and the total effective windpower generated. A nameplate volume is only in very positive situations, so we will need to assess at the same time the first results during 2022 to be understanding the positive overall power generation in reality. In principle, it is very good choice to increase overall energy security by putting in additional options to generate,” he said.
Widdershoven noted that by substituting gas by renewables, the latter will be less GHG related.
“By substituting gas by renewables, overall volumes available to export in principle will be larger. However, keep in mind, looking at Azerbaijan’s energy demand situation, and possible increased demand in the future, the effects could be minimal or maybe even not enough. A further electrication of the economy will need a multitude of the windfarm potential, but the first step is made, at the same with the opportunity to show to possible investors and operators in the future that it is profitable for all,” added the expert.
He pointed out that at present, Azerbaijan is a very GHG high emitting country, with large hydrocarbon based economic sectors.
“Increased renewables in the system will not only bring down emissions but also give possible positive impact to other sectors. Looking at financing of new sectors or projects, Azerbaijan’s current ESG/SDG and GHG status needs to improve substantially,” noted Widdershoven.
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