The Ministry of Energy of Azerbaijan and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have inked a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the use of offshore wind energy resources in order to develop the renewable energy sector in Azerbaijan.
The memorandum was signed in the context of the common goals of the Ministry of Energy and IFC, such as promoting the use of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan, as well as supporting participation of private sector in this area to improve the financial sustainability and efficiency of the energy sector.
Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov said: “Renewable energy has been determined by President Ilham Aliyev as one of the significant priorities of Azerbaijan’s socio-economic and diversified development course, as well as achieving a clean environment by 2030. It is necessary to use the offshore wind energy potential to ensure that the renewable energy has a significant position in production and consumption. The rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea are an important source for the development of not only the hydrocarbon industry, but also the green energy sector. Cooperation efforts with IFC will contribute to the development of offshore wind energy production in Azerbaijan, as well as the use of renewable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions.”
IFC Director for Europe and Central Asia Wiebke Schloemer said: “One of IFC’s strategic priorities in Azerbaijan is to support the country’s move to a new private-sector led growth model. Helping the nation — rich in oil and gas resources — explore and develop offshore wind energy can increase private sector participation, while also supporting energy transition. This will play a catalytic role, strengthening Azerbaijan’s infrastructure and tackling climate change.”
According to the Memorandum, cooperation with the IFC envisages an assessment of the potential of offshore wind power in Azerbaijan and the development of a roadmap, and at the next stage – the tender management related to relevant offshore projects, the definition of partnerships with the private sector, and the implementation of auxiliary investments.
The work stipulated by the Memorandum of Understanding will be implemented within the IFC Offshore Wind Development Program. This program is funded by the World Bank`s Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, ESMAP. The technical potential of offshore wind energy in Azerbaijan is estimated at 157 gigawatts, according to a preliminary analysis provided by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP).
It should be reminded that Azerbaijan became a member of IFC, working in more than 100 countries in 1995.