Deputy Head of State Agency on the development of renewable energy in Azerbaijan - EXCLUSIVE | Eurasia Diary -

24 August, Saturday

Deputy Head of State Agency on the development of renewable energy in Azerbaijan - EXCLUSIVE

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The Ministerial Conference “Meeting the Challenge of Sustainable Energy” and the 8th International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development is held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, on 11-14 June 2017.
The events are held by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan under the auspices of the UN regional commissions (ECE, ESCAP, ESCWA, ECA, ECLAC) jointly with specialized UN organizations (UNIDO, UNDP, SE4ALL, etc.) and other partners (IEA, IRENA, Energy Charter).
More than 400 state representatives from the UN member-countries, international energy experts, representatives of financial and business sectors, scientific researchers, scientists and representatives of the civil society participate in the Forum.
Deputy Head of the Azerbaijan's State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Jamil Melikov delivered the presentation at the Forum on the development of renewable energy in Azerbaijan.
In his exclusive interview to Eurasia Diary, Jamil Melikov talked about the prospects for alternative energy development, as well as about the ongoing projects, being implemented by the state in this direction. 
"On several fundamental principles Azerbaijan has very good potential for development of renewable energy. First of all, it is the fact that we have enough renewable energy sources: solar energy, wind energy and bioenergy, which we can use. Second, our country exports oil and gas to foreign countries. The strategic goal of Azerbaijan's development is to increase the export of energy resources, as for this we receive significant source of foreign exchange  to the country. In order to increase exports, it is necessary to reduce the use of energy resources in the country. The electricity generating from the sun or wind makes it possible to save 0.3 cubic meters of gas per kilowatt-hour, which our energy industry uses today. Accordingly, if we generate more energy from alternative energy sources, we will be able to save more gas resources for export  or to process gas into new types of materials. 
Third, renewable energy is important for Azerbaijan because  we can provide with energy all far located human settlements instead of  pulling tens of hundreds of kilometers of power lines to the long distances in order to light  10-15 houses in small villages". 
According to Jamil Melikov, today, renewable energy is the most affordable way to minimize electricity consumption, energy transportation losses, and reduce the costs associated with changing the infrastructure for electricity transferring from the power plant to the final consumer in any remote settlement.
"Renewable energy is the most successful and most accessible method for development of our energy infrastructure, both to reduce fuel costs and to use solar and wind power stations as regulating capacities, for optimal control of the country's energy system. These 3 aspects give the full right to develop renewable energy and to help the development of all areas of the economy in the country, because it is possible to use renewable energy in all directions, from agriculture to transport. You can introduce renewable energy technology and at the same time obtain competitive conditions in the production of electricity, heat, any solid fuels through cotton waste, agriculture waste at homes, schools, in the production of electricity or heat", added Jamil Melikov. 
Speaking about small-scale, medium-sized and large-scale projects aimed at developing alternative energy in Azerbaijan, Jamil Melikov said that in the State Agency on Renewable Energy, all activities in the field of renewable energy use are divided into 3 classes.
"The first class is a class of micro power plants, which we call "One House - One Power Plant ". This means that any separate building can install solar panels on its roof and generate heat or electricity, which will be redistributed through a common electricity or heat network. Today, hundreds of thousands  homes can be involved in generating electricity and thereby saving gas, fuel oil, diesel or wood for energy production. 
The second class is district, hybrid power plants. In the specific areas, for example, in Gobustan, where we implement our projects, a hybrid station consisting of a solar station, a wind station, and a nearby biogas or gas station is being built. If there is no biogas, then the gas station. When there is no sun or wind, a gas station is used and the consumer is always able to get its electricity. However, we use a gas station for 10-15% of electricity generation, so we save 85-90% of gas because the consumer gets electricity on account of the wind, sun, or at the expense of both.
The third class is industrial power plants. These are basically single-type power plants of large capacity. For example, it can be a solar power plant such as that in Nakhichivan. It can be a hydro station or a wind station", said Jamil Melikov.
Each of these classes has its own technical and technological basis and of course, its own tariff policy.
Deputy Head of the Azerbaijan's State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy added that it is also extremely important to attract private, local and foreign investors, banks, etc. 
"We cooperate with international investment organizations, financial institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction, KRW, IFC and etc.. Today, a number of international organizations have a business relationship with us and prepare  a technical justification for the implementation of specific projects, so to speak, participate in the development of renewable energy in our country", Jamil Melikov added in conclusion.
Note that the Eighth International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development focuses on energy security, trade and infrastructure, the energy-climate and food nexus, and the development of renewable energy in a regional context. The event provides a unique opportunity to explore how the United Nations system can help countries and business to implement or pursue sustainable agendas. 
Ministers, high-level delegations and leading energy experts explores how to drive change, the role of and need for regional cooperation and planning, and the imperative for nexus solutions as part of implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In particular, the interplay between fossil fuels, energy efficiency, and renewable energy is in the spotlight. The Eighth Forum and energy ministerial offers countries choices on how to attain the energy-related Sustainable Development Goals in their national contexts.



Interviewed by Anastasia Lavrina

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