Baku, February 13 - Neftegaz.RU. The vast oil & gas reserves underneath Azerbaijan’s portion of the Caspian Sea have already made it a global exporter of fossil fuels. But officials in Baku are looking to diversify the country’s energy mix by bringing in outside expertise that could help shape its potential in the field of renewable resources, Caspian news reported.
Last week officials from the energy ministry signed a MoU with Total Eren to help Azerbaijan boost its renewables capacity. EREN’s strengths are in wind and photovoltaic capabilities.
The MoU with Total Eren is expected to lead to projects that will generate 420 megawatts (MW) of power from wind, solar and bioenergy, all in line with the Strategic Roadmap on the Development of Utilities (Electricity and Heat Energy, Water and Gas) in Azerbaijan.
Attracting private investment and cooperating with international energy companies and financial institutions have been a central focus of the government in Baku to develop the country’s renewables capabilities and capacity.
Officials in Azerbaijan aim to increase its renewable energy capacity ultimately to 2,500 MW by 2020 with wind energy at 800 MW, solar at 950 MW, biogas at 125 MW, geothermal at 150 MW and small hydropower at 150 MW respectively. The total money placement in these efforts will be somewhere at $2.5-3.5 billion.
The total potential capacity of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan exceeds 12,000 MW, according to a 2015 study by the State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources. Solar power accounts for most of this potential at 5,000 MW, while wind accounts for 4,500 MW.