Azerbaijan to map solar and wind potential

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As Azerbaijan ramps up its renewables capacity, the government has ordered the Institute of Geography (IG) at the National Academy of Sciences to map the country’s solar and wind resources by July.

"This is a new initiative of the government’s, striving to focus more on renewables development in the country," Ramiz Maxmud Ogly Mamedov, IG interim director, told pv magazine. "The green thing has been buzzing news all around, and Azerbaijan cannot fall behind other countries, especially those in the region."

IG scientists, Mamedov says, have been dispatched to the country’s 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 biggest, lower and lowest as well as evaluating other optical conditions of atmosphere," Mamedov added. "The ultimate goal is classifying the entire territory for solar and wind power effectiveness. This will help drive renewables installation capacities."

The US$30,000 project is being financed by UNESCO.

Renewables account for approximately 3-4% of Azeri energy needs, according to Mamedov.

To boost the green energy sector, the Azeri government founded the State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources (SAARES) at the start of the year.

To ensure its independence, Azeri president Ilham Aliyev barred a state-owned company for alternative and renewable energy sources, AREA, from partaking in the new body.

By 2020 the Azerbaijan government plans to increase the share of energy sourced from renewables to 9.7% of total consumption.