“Greening Energy Sector - mainstreaming energy efficiency and utilization of the renewable energy in the Caucasus Energy sector development”
After collapse of the Soviet Union countries of the Caucasus region faced similar problems in energy sector. Governments were not able to provide effective economic support to energy sector which was widely characterized by application of old technologies, poor system of management and weak legal basis. After gaining independence due to availability of different energy resources, both indigenous and imported, (such as hydrocarbons in Azerbaijan; hydro energy in Georgia; nuclear energy in Armenia) and economic stabilization majority of countries have ratified their own strategies on the development of fuel and energy sector (Review of Energy Efficiency Situation in Azerbaijan, Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia “On Main Directions of the State Energy Policy of Georgia”).
Between mid 1990 and mid 2000 these countries have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol and also appointed Designated National Authorities (DNA) for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol. Countries have prepared Initial and Second National Communications to the UNFCCC. Therefore countries’ climate change policies are formulated within the framework of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.
Basis for long-term energy policy is created through national strategies on Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency and energy saving (State Programme on the Use of Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources of Azerbaijan; Strategy for Development of the Energy Sector within the Context of the Economic Development of the Republic of Armenia; Resolution of the Parliament of Georgia On Main Directions of the State Energy Policy of Georgia) which define the ways for creating efficient and sustainable energy sector. Renewable energy strategies (National Program for Energy Saving and Renewable Energy of Armenia; State Program "Renewable Energy 2008" of Georgia) provide assessment of the energy saving potential in power, heat and gas supply systems in the industrial production, transportation, housing and public sectors and assessment of the potential for renewable energy and measures for effective exploitation of the energy saving potential (see also National communications to the UNFCCC).
The main sources of CO2 emissions in those countries were and remain the transport, energy, and industrial sectors. CO2 emissions in the energy sector come from the fuel combustion.
There is a high potential for development of the Renewable Energy (RE) in Caucasus countries (hydropower including small hydropower, geothermal energy, solar energy, wind energy in Georgia, hydropower, wind energy in Armenia, Azerbaijan also has high potential for alternative energy generation: The annual potential of wind and small hydropower were estimated at 5 billion kWh).
In spite of high potential of Renewable Energy (RE) the utilization of which would greatly contribute to the increase of level of the National energy security through the diversification of the energy sources and also to the achieving the Millennium Development Goals, existence of the targeted energy strategies and improved legal and regulatory frameworks for Independent Power Producers (IPP) since the Independence, the level of the renewable energy in total energy balance still is far below from the technically available potential. There are only a few number of RE projects with capacities above 1 MW implemented in those countries. The main reason for that is the existence of number of financial, technology, legal & regulatory, institutional barriers (they are different in each Caucasus country) which are hampering the broad development of Renewable Energy in the region.
The VIII Annual International Conference of REC Caucasus will be held with financial support from the Ministry of Environmental Affairs, Land Use Planning, Agriculture and Forestry of Lichtenstein.
The overall goal
The overall goal of the conference is to provide forum for the interested parties in a comprehensive discussion of chalanges regarding energy efficiency and renewable energy in the South Caucasus region. It aims to take stock of challenges posed by Utilization of Renewable Energy sources in the South Caucasus focusing on three countries’ specific problems, strategies and response actions for reaching an effective agenda on renewable energy sector.
Along with the presentation of the results achieved and lessons learned, the objective of the conference is to provide opportunity to the main stakeholders involved in the development of energy efficiency and Renewable Energy projects, project developers, investors, banks, specialized funds, etc. to present their activities and also discuss number of project proposals and possible ways of their financing and implementation.