Khinalig village to be provided with alternative energy

By: Nigar Orujova

The International Eco-Energy Academy has developed a project to provide Azerbaijani Khinalig village with renewable energy, President of the Academy, Professor Fagan Aliyev said.

Located at the peak of the Caucasus Mountains, 2,350 meters above the sea in Guba region, Khinalig is an area that has preserved its ancient life style to this day.

Aliyev said that the project first intends to get solar energy, river water and biogas. At his words, sunlight is more intense in the high-mountain village. Therefore, the project prefers solar energy, he added.

The president said Azerbaijan is rich with wind, sun, river waters, biotermal, methanol, hydrogen and other renewable energy.

The academy has developed a number of projects associated with alternative energy sources.

The villagers were given directions on agricultural sector, especially on the sustainable development of animal husbandry and fishery.

Alternative energy usage is common in Azerbaijan. The total capacity of alternative and renewable energy sources in the country exceeds 12,000 megawatts. Most of the country’s capacities in this area fall on solar energy, and its capacity is estimated at 5,000 megawatts.

Some 4,500 MW fall on wind energy, biomass – 1,500 MW, geothermal energy – 800 MW, while the remaining 350 MW fall on small hydro power plants.

Today, Azerbaijan plans to establish a new electricity generating capacity in renewable energy as of 2015.

The State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources plans to launch a project with a total capacity of 300 megawatts. The project will focus on the generation of solar, wind, geothermal waters, small rivers and biomass energy.

Over 100 million manats ($127 million) has been invested from the public fund in the development of alternative and renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan. The government plans to build up to 100 objects for alternative energy for 5 years.

The share of alternative energy sources is planned to increase to 20 percent of the total volume of energy consumption in Azerbaijan by 2020, which requires 7 billion manats ($8.9 billion) of investment.

EBRD funds alternative energy in Azerbaijan

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has invested 25 million euros for projects in the Green for Growth Fund (GGF) for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in South-Eastern Europe and the countries of the European Neighborhood, including Azerbaijan, the bank reported.

The additional funds allocated by the EBRD are expected to lead to expansion of GGF activity, the report said. “The demand for funding of projects in the field of sustainable energy remains high in South-Eastern Europe, where the effects of the financial crisis still affect bank lending,” the bank said.

“Support for projects that promote the development of less expensive and more environmentally friendly resources is good not only for the environment, but also for the economy of the countries in which the EBRD operates,” said the director on the bank’s financial institutions Henry Russell.

With the launch of the Sustainable Energy Initiative in 2006 and until 2013 the EBRD invested 13 billion euros in 756 projects on sustainable energy in 35 countries.

These projects are expected to lead to an annual reduction of CO2 emissions by more than 62 million metric tons. In 2014, about one-third of all EBRD investments will be made in sustainable and renewable energy.