Azerbaijan’s breakthrough: from hydrocarbons to green energy

Oil&Gas Materials 16 March 2022 17:08 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan’s breakthrough: from hydrocarbons to green energy
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 16


Azerbaijan, worldwide recognized country as a reliable supplier of oil and gas, has been implementing grandiose projects in the sphere of alternative energy in recent years in accordance with global initiatives for the transition to green energy.

Azerbaijan started this year with breakthroughs. The country has already laid the foundations of two large facilities for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.

The ceremony of laying the foundation of the Khizi-Absheron Wind Power Plant, which will be built by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power Company, took place on January 13. The plant will have an installed capacity of 240 MW, will provide electricity to 300,000 households, 220 million cubic meters of gas will be saved at the same time and it will be possible to reduce emissions of 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere during the year.

The foundation for the Garadagh Solar Power Plant with an installed capacity of 230 MW was laid on March 15, which will be built by UAE’s Masdar. The Garadagh Solar Power Plant will generate 500 million kilowatts per hour of electricity per year, which will reduce gas consumption by 110 million cubic meters and prevent harmful emissions of 200,000 tons into the environment.

Azerbaijan also intends to implement a number of similar projects together with the private sector until 2030, as this also allows for a high potential in the use of renewable energy.

The potential of economically viable and technically suitable renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan is 27,000 MW, including 3,000 MW in the sphere of wind energy, 23,000 MW in solar energy, 380 megawatts in biomass energy and 520 megawatts in mountain river energy.

The total installed capacity of electricity production in Azerbaijan is 7,542 MW and the capacity of power plants based on renewable energy sources is 1,304 megawatts, including large hydroelectric power plants.

Another important project in this area is the construction of a solar power plant in Jabrayil district by British Petroleum (BP), which currently is at the research stage.

The Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan and BP signed an executive agreement on cooperation in the evaluation and implementation of a project for the construction of a solar power plant with an installed capacity of 240 MW in the Zangilan/Jabrayil district in June 2021.

Cooperation under the agreement covers such areas as the technical and commercial evaluation of the solar power plant project, its design, the provision of financing and the final investment decision. BP continues to work with the Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan to assess the Zangilan/Jebrail solar project and prepare for the start of construction.

The implementation of the project will contribute to the creation of a "green energy" zone in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan from Armenian occupation and follows from the strategic decision to develop the renewable energy sector, the country's commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent by 2030, also BP's strategy to become a zero-emission company by 2050.

Azerbaijan is also closely cooperating with international organizations for the comprehensive development of alternative energy. Activity of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to create a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the offshore wind energy sector should be highlighted.

According to an analysis by the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), Azerbaijan's offshore wind energy potential is estimated at 157 GW. This is the maximum technical potential that cannot be fully exploited and this is a significant figure compared to the total installed capacity of Azerbaijan's power plants, which is about 8 GW.

The exploring and development of offshore wind energy will also promote private sector participation in the entire energy sector, help increase competition, strengthen Azerbaijan's infrastructure and diversify its economy.

Azerbaijan also has a memorandum with BP on a joint research of the potential and conditions for projects in the sphere of renewable energy sources in cities and regions of the country.

The memorandum provides for the creation of a managing committee and a working group for the implementation of work, the development of a master plan for decarbonization for the relevant regions and cities of Azerbaijan.

Azerbaijan is cooperating with the Japanese Tokyo Electric Power Services Co.(TEPSCO) for the effective use of the potential of renewable energy sources in the liberated territories from Armenian occupation.

The parties signed a relevant agreement in order to fulfill the tasks in connection with the creation of a "green energy" zone in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan, which have significant potential in the field of renewable energy: the capacity for generating electricity from solar and wind energy here can be about 9,000 - 10,000 MW.

Realization of the potential of the liberated territories will create added value in Azerbaijan's alternative energy and further strengthen the country's position in this area.

Azerbaijan has been transforming the energy map of Europe for several years and is becoming a reliable supplier of energy resources.The maximum use of the potential of our country, the increase in production capacity is one of the main issues on the agenda while the demand for electricity in the world is growing.

The use of alternative energy sources to maintain the ecological balance and large investments in this area are commendable. The energy potential of Azerbaijan looks even more attractive at a time when the global demand for electricity is constantly growing.