Azerbaijan is one of the countries with high potential for renewable energy sources. Thus, the potential of renewable energy sources, which are economically viable and technically feasible, is estimated at 27 000 MW, including 3 000 MW of wind energy, 23 000 MW of solar energy, 380 MW of bioenergy potential, 520 MW of mountain rivers.
Although it is rich in energy resources and recognized as an energy exporter in the world, the use of renewable energy sources are paid special attention in the Republic of Azerbaijan. One of the main goals of the energy security policy implemented under the leadership of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev is to strengthen the use of renewable energy sources in the country.
The paragraph 5 (CLEAN ENVIRONMENT AND GREEN GROWTH COUNTRY) of the document “Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-economic Development" approved by the Order of the President of Azerbaijan Republic dated 2 February 2021 covers the issues of climate change and the fight against it, as well as the application of renewable energy in all sectors of the economy based on the principles of green energy in our country. Thus, in line with the priorities for the country's socio-economic development, more attention is being paid to the use of renewable energy sources and the expansion of the application of “green” technologies in the current and future periods. Within the work carried out in this area, cameral investigations were continued throughout the country in the direction of identification and prioritization of areas with potential for renewable energy sources. The above-mentioned national priorities are of particular importance in the direction of implementation of the obligations arising from the UN “World Transformation: Agenda for sustainable development until 2030”.
Hydropower capacity is 1154.8 MW (30 stations, 20 of which is SHPP), wind power capacity 66.1 MW (7 stations, 2 of which is hybrid), bioenergy capacity 37.7 MW (2 stations, 1 of which is hybrid), solar energy capacity 45.9 MW (12 stations, 2 of which is hybrid). One hybrid power plant (Gobustan) is equipped based on wind-2.7 MW, solar-3 MW and bioenergy-0.7 MW. In Nakhvhivan AR 4 SPPs with a total capacity of 33 MW are commissioned. Installed capacity on renewable energy sources excluding large hydropower plants, was 194 MW in 2021 and it made up 2.5 % of total electricity generation capacity.
In 2021, electricity production in the Republic amounted to 27,8 billion kWh. During the reporting period, electricity generation at TPPs amounted to 26.2 bln kWh, at HPPs to 1277.3 mln kWh, and at other sources (WPP, SPP and Solid household waste plant) to 339.9 mln kWh in comparison. 91.5 mln kWh of electricity was generated at WPPs, 55.2 mln kWh at SPPs, and 193.2 mln kWh at the solid household waste incineration plant. Electricity generated from renewable energy sources made up 5.8 % of total production.
In addition, a number of steps are being taken to assess the potential for the electricity generation at the expense of the renewable energy generation, and a number of the steps and measures are being taken to use this potential. 8 territories were selected in the direction of identification and prioritization of areas with potential for renewable energy sources. Relevant measures are already being taken to implement pilot projects in the selected 3 areas. In addition, it is planned to implement projects in the regions in the coming years in order to use solar energy potential available throughout the country in comparison with wind energy, unsuitable agricultural lands, to distribute electricity generation capacities on renewable energy sources. The work on investment in selected and prioritized renewable energy sources in areas with high potential has been continued through auctions. Currently, the project “Support to Renewable Energy Auctions in Azerbaijan” is being implemented with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Within the project, the auction rules, a set of conditions for the auctions, as well as the preparation of documents on procurement of electricity, a request for qualifications (RFQ) for participation in the auction and a request for proposal (RFP) will be provided.
On 12 December 2015, in accordance with the Paris Agreement adopted at the 21st Conference of the Parties, the Republic of Azerbaijan submitted its contributions to the Convention Secretariat determined at the intended national level. As a contribution to global climate change mitigation initiatives, Azerbaijan has set a target to maintain a 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to the base year (1990). In November 2021, at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Azerbaijan adopted a new commitment to reduce emissions by 2050 by 40% as a voluntary commitment and to create a “Netto Zero Emission” Zone in the liberated territories. To achieve these goals, by 2030, the Ministry of Energy has set the main target to increase the share of the installed capacity of renewable energy to 30% in the country's overall energy balance. For this purpose, it is planned to create a total of 1500 MW new generation capacities including 440 MW in 2023, 460 MW in 2023-2025 and 600 MW in 2026-2030 at the expense of renewables.
About 25% of Azerbaijan's internal water resources falls to the share of the liberated territories, which is approximately 2.56 bcm annually. In particular, it should be noted that there is a favorable potential for the implementation of solar energy projects in the liberated territories. Thus, Zangilan, Jabrayil, Gubadli and Fuzuli regions are the second most favorable regions in the country followed by Nakhchivan AR according to the solar radiation observed. As a result of the initial observations, the relevant areas with favorable solar radiation were identified. The potential of solar energy in the liberated territories is estimated at more than 7200 MW. The territory of Jabrayil and Zangilan districts was considered expedient on the basis of preliminary studies, topography for solar power projects, climatic conditions, proximity to the network, energy production potential, transport infrastructure and comparative analysis of other technical factors. The presence of favorable wind potential in the liberated territories, especially in the mountainous parts of Lachin and Kalbajar, was determined according to preliminary researches. The analysis shows that the wind power potential in these areas is around 2000 MW. In previous years, relevant scientific research has been carried out on the existence of geothermal energy sources in the liberated territories. Geothermal energy is mainly used for electricity generation (with favorable temperature and debit), thermal power supply and tourism-balneological purposes. Preliminary analysis shows that there are geothermal sources in the mountainous part of the Lesser Caucasus (4000-5000 cubic meter per day (30-74°C)). Based on preliminary observations, it is more expedient to use this potential for heat supply and balneological purpose, respectively.