Denmark, Azerbaijan have opportunities to cooperate in energy efficiency
Azerbaijan aims to increase usage of renewable energy sources and the country has all opportunities for this due to its geographical location and weather conditions. Thus, Azerbaijan, which is engaged in attracting investments in this area, continues to establish close cooperation ties with foreign countries.
In this regard, Danish Ambassador to Azerbaijan Svend Olling said that Denmark and Azerbaijan have opportunities for cooperation in energy efficiency, Trend reported.
"I especially see opportunities in the area of energy efficiency as well as renewable energy and technology," he said.
Olling pointed out that Denmark is a leading nation in the industry of green energy, and is always keen on dispersing green energy production and consumption technologies to other countries.
"Azerbaijan is not lacking energy sources, as the country is rich in oil and gas. Still, the concern for the climate is something that makes enhanced cooperation in the field of clean energy relevant worldwide. It is a responsibility for all nations to do their best to lower carbon emissions," the envoy noted.
The diplomat went on to say that one way to take action is through investing in clean and sustainable energy sources.
"There is a number of possible ways to do it, be it through renewable energy, waste-to-energy or district heating," he noted.
Olling pointed out that even in a time when green energy might be on top of the agenda, oil and gas are still important energy sources.
"A transition to low carbon energy would also release more oil and gas for Azerbaijan to export, which in turn will increase the prosperity of the country. This is why a mix of available energy sources could make Azerbaijan even stronger in the sphere of energy in the long term," the diplomat said.
Olling noted that cooperation in this field could take several different forms.
"One method is through partnerships, where knowhow and technology is transferred from experts to local partners, and projects are conducted in accordance with local conditions and economy," he added.
The capacity of the energy system of Azerbaijan is more than 6,000 megawatts. At the same time, according to experts, the potential of renewable energy sources in the country is more than 25,300 megawatts. Most of the country's potential in this area falls on solar energy, while it is estimated at 5,000 megawatts.
Some 4,500 megawatts accounts for wind power, 1,500 megawatts -- for biomass, 800 megawatts -- for geothermal energy, and the remaining 350 megawatts - for the small hydro power plants (HPP).
The usage of renewable sources is gaining more and more supporters, and it is obvious that the future of humanity will largely depend on this method of energy production. Today, 80 percent of world energy consumption comes from hydrocarbons (oil, natural gas and coal), and 20 percent from renewable sources and nuclear energy. Energy consumption in the world is growing every day, and traditional energy sources are rapidly being exhausted.
According to the forecasts of the International Energy Agency (IEA), 60 percent of world energy will come from hydrocarbons in 2040, and the largest percentage will come from natural gas, while 40 percent from nuclear energy and renewable energy sources, mostly from wind and solar energy.
Ecologically pure infrastructure of the production of this type of energy is of great importance.
Alternative energy sources are safe for humans and the environment, as they do not produce harmful emissions into the atmosphere. On the contrary, hydrocarbon-based energy is the main source of pollution of the Earth’s atmosphere; it can lead to irreversible climate change on the planet.
China is the undisputed leader among the leading countries in the development and application of renewable sources. According to forecasts of the World Economic Forum (WEF), more than 40 percent of the total global alternative energy by 2022 will account for China. In 2017, China’s total investment in renewable energy projects amounted to more than $44 billion.
The United States, which in 2017 accounted for $32 billion in investments, ranks second in this term. India is in third place, whose renewable capacity will double by 2022. Solar energy and wind make up 90 percent of India’s renewable power growth.
In European countries, prospects seem even brighter. By 2022, Denmark is expected to generate 69 percent of its energy from renewable sources, making it the world leader. Ireland is in second place, and is projected to generate one third of its energy needs from renewable sources.
In other European countries, including Spain, Germany and the UK, the share of wind and solar energy will exceed 25 percent of total production.
So what about Azerbaijan? In accordance with the Decree of President Ilham Aliyev, in 2013, the State Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources was created, and a number of documents were signed and programs were adopted to develop this industry. These documents provide for bringing alternative sources to 20 percent of the total energy consumption of Azerbaijan by the end of 2020. It is obvious that the development of alternative energy is included in the number of priority directions of state development.
According to studies, there is a huge potential in the territory of Azerbaijan for generating electricity using renewable energy sources. The efficiency of using one or another alternative energy sources directly depends on the region in which the installation of equipment is necessary. For example, on the Absheron Peninsula, the weather is quite often windy - the wind blows about 300 days a year. In particular, in the village of Shubany, 227 days a year the wind blows at a speed of more than 75 km/h and even more. Moreover, sunny days on the Absheron Peninsula account for more than 200 days a year, and on summer days the temperature often reaches 40 degrees. The total potential of solar energy is estimated at 500 megawatts, while the potential for wind power generation is 350 megawatts.
Thus, the territory has an undeniable potential, and the usage of alternative sources for energy generation is more than attractive. One should also highlight the positive environmental aspect of using alternative technologies in energy production. Investing in renewable energy sources can also significantly reduce energy budget spending. For example, Germany is the main network importer of electricity in Europe. It is estimated that by 2050, the country is going to use only renewable energy sources, which will help save billions of dollars, since they will not need to import energy. A huge impetus to the usage of alternative energy can be given by subsidies from the state. If you look at the six leading countries in the world that subsidize alternative energy, the total amount of subsidies exceeds $40 billion a year. In the U.S. alone, in 2016, $18.4 billion was spent on energy subsidies.
An important factor in stimulating and attracting investments in technologies for the production of renewable energy is the usage of green tariffs. The adoption of the law on green tariff will give a huge impetus to the creation of a favorable investment climate in the energy sector and the further attraction of investments in Azerbaijan. The principle of the green tariff is quite simple: the state undertakes to buy energy from legal entities and individuals, produced using alternative energy sources. In many countries of the world, a special green tariff has been approved at the legislative level, which stimulates the development of alternative energy resources and the inflow of investments in this sector of the economy.
If Azerbaijan succeeds in implementing all the planned measures for the development of renewable energy sources, then in the foreseeable future, the volume of production of alternative energy may be on par with the most developed countries of the world.