Azerbaijan to map out its solar and wind capacity

"This is a new initiative of the government shows it is striving to focus more on renewables development in the country. Green energy has been a buzz word recently, and there is recognition that Azerbaijan cannot fall behind other countries, especially those in the region," Ramiz Maxmud Ogly Mamedov, the IG interim director, told pv magazine.

The IG scientists, he says, have already been dispatched to the country’s various regions for assessment of solar and wind capacities, as well as atmospheric conditions and relief.

"We’ve tasked them with finding out where the solar insulation is the highest, lower and lowest, as well as evaluating other optical conditions of the atmosphere. The ultimate goal is assessing the entire territory as to solar and wind power potential. This will help encourage renewable energy installations," Mamedov said.

The $30 000 project is being financed by UNESCO.

The current renewable energy production is approximately 3 – 4% of total energy production, according to Mamedov.

To boost the renewable energy sector, Azerbaijani government has founded the State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources (SAARES) at the beginning of the year.

To ensure its independence, the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev has eliminated a state-owned company on alternative and renewable energy sources, AREA, from partaking in the SAARES.

By 2020 the Azerbaijan government plans to increase its share of renewable energy sources to 9.7% of its total energy consumption.