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President Aliyev: Azerbaijan Plans Maximum Use of Renewables

By Ilham Karimli March 7, 2024

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President Ilham Aliyev gives interview to Euronews, Baku, Azerbaijan, March 2, 2024 / President.Az

President Ilham Aliyev recently shed light on Azerbaijan's accelerated efforts toward a green energy transition, emphasizing the country’s commitment to both domestic and international climate action initiatives.

In an interview with Euronews, President Aliyev outlined Azerbaijan's ambitious renewable energy agenda, highlighting the Caspian Sea's significant potential in achieving these green goals.

"The Caspian Sea potential of Azerbaijan is 157 gigawatts, which is based on the assessment of International Finance Corporation. And we already started this important journey. And we plan to use renewables maybe in the 10-year time at the maximum degree and reduce the consumption of natural gas domestically," President Aliyev stated.

During the 10th Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting and the 2nd Green Energy Advisory Council Ministerial Meeting on March 1st, President Aliyev recalled the announcement of 2024 as the "Green World Solidarity Year" in Azerbaijan, underscoring the nation's dedication to global climate action. He reminisced about inaugurating Azerbaijan's first large-scale solar power plant last October, a 230-megawatt facility constructed by Masdar, a leading renewable energy company from the UAE.

“This is only the beginning. According to signed contracts and MOUs, we plan to generate up to 5000 megawatt or 5 gigawatts of solar and wind energy until 2030,” President Aliyev announced.

Azerbaijan is collaborating with international partners like Masdar and ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia, which is preparing to launch a 240-megawatt wind power plant, to tap into its vast alternative energy resources. The country is also eyeing entry into the European green energy market through the Black Sea green cable project.

President Aliyev envisions wind farms in the Caspian Sea connected to new transmission lines stretching across the Black Sea to Europe, expanding alternative energy generation while conserving natural gas for electricity production.

On a related note, President Aliyev signed a decree on March 1st establishing the Energy Efficiency Fund under the Energy Ministry of Azerbaijan. This fund is set to bolster the country's endeavors in promoting energy efficiency and optimizing energy resource utilization.

Azerbaijan, an oil and gas exporter, has taken measures to combat climate change in recent years, including adopting laws, rules, and programs related to transition to green energy and decarbonization.

The country owns vast renewable energy resources. The technical potential of renewables is estimated at 135 gigawatts on land and 157 gigawatts at sea. The economic potential of green energy sources stands at 27 gigawatts, which includes 3 gigawatts of wind energy, 23 gigawatts of solar energy, 380 megawatts of bioenergy potential, and 520 megawatts of mountain river potential, according to the Energy Ministry.

This year, Azerbaijan will host 2024 UN Climate Change Conference (COP29). Around 70-80 thousand foreign guests are expected to visit the two-week COP29 in Azerbaijan.

In January, the Organizational Committee, assigned the responsibility of implementing and overseeing the agenda, began preparations for the upcoming global climate action summit scheduled for November.

Azerbaijan ratified the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1995. The country acceded to the first global climate change protocol of the Convention, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, in 2000. The Kyoto Protocol limits emissions of greenhouse gases, which cause global warming.

Azerbaijan later confirmed the commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases by 35 percent by 2030 and bring it to 40 percent by 2050.

Baku signed the 2015 Paris Agreement, a legally binding treaty on climate change, in April 2016 and has since been actively working to deliver on the issues prioritized by the government.

The Paris Agreement sets long-term goals to guide all nations to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions substantially and hold global temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It adds that nations must pursue efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and recognizes that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

It also calls on the signatories to periodically assess the collective progress towards achieving the purpose of this agreement and its long-term goals, as well as provide financing to developing countries to mitigate climate change, strengthen resilience and enhance abilities to adapt to climate impacts.