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Azerbaijan to play pivotal role in Europe’s transition to clean energy

Alan Mustard

Within the framework of President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Romania, the “Agreement between the governments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania and Hungary on strategic partnership in the field of development and transfer of green energy” was signed on December 17.

The agreement essentially opens a new stage in Azerbaijani-EU energy cooperation, laying the foundation for a “green corridor” connecting the South Caucasus with Europe.

As Allan Mustard, co-founder and co-head of the Trans-Caspian Resources energy startup, Former US Ambassador to Turkmenistan, told Trend, Azerbaijan is blessed with abundant potential for solar and wind energy production, and also has some hydroelectric and geothermal potential.

“Thus, Azerbaijan will likely play a critical role in providing electricity to Europe. Delivery of electricity is cost-competitive with pipeline natural gas, since transportation accounts for about 10 percent of the delivered cost, and is even more competitive when compared to transportation of liquified natural gas,” he said.

According to the ex-ambassador, given the EU’s dire need to replace 155 billion cubic meters per year of Russian natural gas, as well as the 40 percent of its oil consumption that in recent years has come from Russia, it is clearly in the best interests of more European countries to collaborate on the development of green energy.

“The transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels will take decades and will be a multinational endeavor. Therefore agreements on cooperation in green energy make complete sense. The investment required is huge and achieving economies of scale in infrastructure will be crucial to contain costs,” Mustard noted.

Thus, the agreement signed between Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, and Hungary serve as a joining force between the energy systems of those countries. As a follow-up of the memorandum on cooperation in the energy sector signed in July this year between Azerbaijan and the EU, which, besides doubling the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe, also provides for boosting cooperation in renewables, this agreement benefits both Azerbaijan and Europe in terms of the transition to clean energy. Azerbaijan, having established itself as a reliable gas supplier already, will also assist its partners in the transition to clean energy sources, and, at the same time, strengthen its own economy.

About Fidan Abdullayeva