Azerbaijan's pragmatism underpins successful development of energy policy, green economy - expert

Azerbaijan's pragmatism underpins successful development of energy policy, green economy - expert

BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 12. The implementation of Azerbaijan's energy policy and measures on the development of the green economy is based on precise calculation, logic, and pragmatism, therefore the country is making progress in these areas in a short period, head of Caspian Barrel and independent Oil Research Center, expert Ilham Shaban told TurkicWorld.

"The ongoing developments in Azerbaijan's fuel and energy sector are a viable contribution to the development of a green economy and to the fulfillment of international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the UN climate agenda," Shaban said.

According to him, Azerbaijan's gas demand averages 13.6-14.0 billion cubic meters per year, with five billion cubic meters consumed by the power sector, as this volume of gas is burned in thermal power plants to generate 94 percent of electricity in the country.

"Several thousand megawatts of electricity can be added to the generation capacity over the next five years through the construction of multiple facilities of renewable energy sources (RES). Thus it will be possible to reduce up to two billion cubic meters per year of gas consumption in the country's power sector and the freed-up volume can be channeled to consumers," the expert added.

The increase in electricity generation from RES leads to a reduction in the carbon footprint (carbon dioxide emissions), which means fulfilling the country's climate commitments at the UN and under the Memorandum of Cooperation with the EU.

"In relations with the EU, Azerbaijan fulfills both the environmental conditions of the Green Deal and export commitments," the expert said.

He emphasized that in the past three years of Azerbaijan's gas exports to Europe, the country's achievements have become evident.

"We sold 8.153 billion cubic meters of gas to the EU in 2021, and 11.8 billion cubic meters in 2023. It is a great pace and there are not so many others who can claim equal success. Meanwhile, the country has been signing contracts for the construction of RES facilities, following the world's green tendencies," Shaban added.

The expert believes that even a decrease in Azerbaijani oil production due to natural geological reasons means a decrease in the carbon footprint.

"The country's annual oil production has fallen by 21 million tons since 2011. Understandably, the available producing reservoirs are being depleted. After all, Azerbaijani oil production dates back more than 100 years. Reduction of oil production now actually corresponds to the implementation of the strategy of green economy and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions," the expert said.

In this regard, Shaban called the criticism of the fact that COP29 will be held in Azerbaijan unfounded.

"Azerbaijan has demonstrated its ability to fulfill actual international obligations in a short period. As for criticism and possible obstacles, we are not used to it, and we will successfully overcome them," Shaban said.