25 Apr 2024 19:03

Project to supply Azerbaijani green energy to EU via Black Sea expanding, study nearing conclusion - Aliyev

BAKU. April 25 (Interfax) - A feasibility study for the Black Sea Energy project to lay a cable to supply green energy from Azerbaijan to Europe is nearing completion, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.

"European countries will need additional energy, and we are working on that. As you know, the green energy cable from Caspian to the Black Sea and then further down to Europe is now in the last phase of feasibility study. As soon as the feasibility study is ready, we will start, and we are already discussing on a practical track the opportunities of connecting this cable with Central Asia. Actually, what we are talking now is that we're expanding that project. Because, it started as a Black Sea cable from the Georgian Black Sea to the Romanian Black Sea coast. We expanded it to the Caspian Sea, and now we're expanding it further down to the Eastern Caspian, to Kazakhstan," Aliyev said at the international "COP29 and Green Vision for Azerbaijan." A transcript of Aliyev's speech was posted on his official website.

Aliyev said that taking into account the investment projects in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan with renewables, there will not be an energy deficit, but an energy surplus in a relatively short period of time. "The world will need fossil fuels for many more years," he said.

He said that last October, Azerbaijan inaugurated its first 240 MW solar power plant, and this year will see the groundbreaking ceremony for four more solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 1,300 MW. "So, that will make the country's potential 1,500 MW or even more. But this is only the beginning because we have an enormous potential of wind, offshore and onshore, as well as solar energy, plus we add hydro," Aliyev said.

"If we bring renewable production in Azerbaijan up to 5 gigawatts, we can substitute a large portion of the natural gas, which we use for electricity. We can reach our target, which has been articulated with the percentage of renewables, in an even shorter period of time. And of course, the synergy here is that the gas we save by not using it in power stations can be sent to Europe, which needs it and will continue to need it," he said.

The Azerbaijani Energy Ministry said at the end of last year that the feasibility study for the Black Sea Energy project should be ready by the end of 2024.

Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary signed an agreement in Bucharest on December 17, 2022, on strategic partnership, which includes the construction of an energy bridge from the Caucasus region to Europe. This involves laying the 1,195 km Black Sea Energy undersea cable with capacity of 1 GW to supply "green" electricity produced in Azerbaijan through Georgia and the Black Sea to Romania for subsequent transportation to Hungary and other European countries. A decision was reached in June for Bulgaria to join the project. Laying the cable will take three or four years. The European Commission plans to provide 2.3 billion euros for the project.