Joint venture for Azerbaijan-Europe green corridor to be created soon – Director of State Agency for Renewable Energy (Interview) (PHOTO)

Green Economy Materials 20 February 2024 08:02 (UTC +04:00)
Joint venture for Azerbaijan-Europe green corridor to be created soon – Director of State Agency for Renewable Energy (Interview) (PHOTO)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 20. A joint venture aimed at establishing the Azerbaijan-Europe green corridor is on the horizon, involving transmission system operators from four countries, Javid Abdullayev, Director of the Azerbaijan Renewable Energy Agency said in an exclusive interview with Trend.

"The selection of a consulting company for the project of exporting green energy from Azerbaijan to Europe via the Black Sea was finalized in late 2023, with the contract being signed in early 2024. Studies for the project are slated to be conducted throughout this year. The feasibility study for the segment traversing the bottom of the Black Sea is nearing completion, and subsequent to this, Azerbaijan will prepare a feasibility study for supplying green energy from the Caspian Sea to Europe. It is envisaged that the joint venture will be established in the first half of this year," he stated.

Abdullayev further highlighted Bulgaria's keen interest in the project, indicating ongoing negotiations for green energy supply from Central Asian countries to Europe via the Caspian Sea bed.

He noted the potential for bidirectional flows and anticipated progress in this direction with similar studies commencing this year.

“Simultaneously, significant strides have been taken to export green energy from Nakhchivan to Türkiye with technical specifications for the project expected to be finalized shortly,” added the agency director.

Abdullayev mentioned exploring various route options for the project, with studies projected to conclude within six months to one year.

Green Energy Projects Auctions

Abdullayev emphasized two focal points in renewable energy utilization: optimizing land use and fortifying network infrastructure.

"In line with the decisions of the Azerbaijani Cabinet of Ministers, two land plots were allocated for renewable energy projects last year. This year, we anticipate an expedited process in this regard. Research and analysis of renewable energy plots have been completed, with proposals currently under review. Several additional land plots for renewable energy projects are expected to be allocated shortly. Subsequently, the process of selecting producers in these areas will commence. This will be executed through auctions, and if deemed strategically significant, with direct involvement from companies. The auctions are scheduled to be announced in the second quarter of this year, with winning companies expected to be determined by year-end," he outlined.

Abdullayev indicated the completion of network research last year, facilitated by consulting companies, with plans to integrate up to 2 gigawatts of renewable energy into the grid by 2027. He anticipated groundbreaking ceremonies for renewable energy projects this year, along with announcements of new projects in the sector.

Green Energy Zones

Abdullayev elaborated on efforts to establish green energy zones in territories liberated from occupation and in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

"Negotiations with investors regarding green energy development in Nakhchivan are ongoing, with significant progress made in identifying land areas. Our primary objective is to formulate a conceptual document for establishing a green energy zone in these territories, predominantly focusing on solar energy production projects. ACWA Power, Masdar, and Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR are conducting studies on a 500 megawatt project, while A-Z Czech Engineering has signed a document for another 500 megawatt project. Additionally, TotalEnergies and Nobel Energy have inked agreements for a green energy project here. Turkish companies also express interest in Nakhchivan projects," he added.

Sunrise Solar Power Plant

Regarding the Sunrise (Shafag) solar power plant project undertaken by bp in Azerbaijan's Jabrayil district, Abdullayev indicated that agreements have been reached on connection schemes to the grid.

"Draft documents pertinent to the project have been prepared, with an international legal consultant engaged. It is anticipated that these documents will be signed in the first half of the year, encompassing an investment agreement and an energy purchase and sale agreement," he explained.

Hydrogen Production and Export

Abdullayev underscored the establishment of working groups on hydrogen production in Azerbaijan, with the involvement of the state oil company SOCAR.

"Hydrogen production will feature prominently at the COP29 conference in Baku. Projects in this domain are currently in the preparatory phase, with foreign companies actively proposing initiatives for green hydrogen production in Azerbaijan. Various options for hydrogen export from Azerbaijan are under consideration, including the supply of a hydrogen blend through the Southern Gas Corridor, the construction of a dedicated pipeline, setting up electrolyzers in proximity to European countries to produce hydrogen from exported green energy, and exporting products derived from hydrogen. Leading global companies are submitting innovative proposals for hydrogen exports, which are currently under evaluation," he added.

The agency director highlighted the declaration of 2024 as the Green World Solidarity Year in Azerbaijan, signaling enhanced progress in green energy projects’ implementation.

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