Natig Jafarli: “The government does not think about the dangerous aspects of its step”
Azerbaijan has signed an agreement with the companies ACWA Power from Saudi Arabia and Masdar of the United Arab Emirates for the implementation of pilot projects on renewable energy.
According to Prime Minister Ali Asadov, energy security is fully ensured in Azerbaijan and the rise of the non-oil sector confronts the country with new challenges:
“Part of the reforms carried out in recent years is related to renewable energy production. A number of initiatives have been successfully implemented in this area, and the renewable energy sector has recently taken an important place in the development of the green economy. Signing new projects with foreign companies is a serious step forward. The agreements provide for investment in Azerbaijan and will have a positive effect on the economy”
The Prime Minister also said that these projects will ensure the energy stability of Azerbaijan.
Economist Rovshan Agayev believes that according to the agreements reached with the ACWA Power company, the company will build wind power plants with a total capacity of 2.5 GW in the sea and on land. This is equal to about a third of the total power that Azerbaijan currently has.
The economist says that the government of Azerbaijan is thinking of becoming a large-scale exporter in the world market in the next 10 years by increasing electricity production at the expense of alternative energy sources.
Agayev states that, on the other hand, the rapid development of new technologies not only expands the volume of alternative energy too quickly but also lowers its value. It is very difficult to predict the future of this market without extensive and rigorous economic and scientific studies, and only time will tell to what extent the expansion of the country’s export channels through the creation of new electricity capacities by the government of Azerbaijan will contribute to the country’s foreign exchange earnings.
Another economist, Natig Jafarli, thinks that the government does not think about the dangerous aspects of the step it has taken. In his opinion, “[the country] is trying to implement the agenda of international power centers. The danger is that if in parallel, serious specialists in this field are not created in the country and there are no local enterprises related to the production of details, after a while, we will have a serious dependence on foreign countries in this field as well.”
According to Jafarli, branches of large and prestigious foreign Universities specializing in this field should be opened in the country, and Higher Schools with modern campuses and laboratories, taught by knowledgeable teachers, should be established. In parallel, joint production enterprises with foreign partners should be established, and those factories should be provided by the state with long-term and very low-interest loans:
“If these works are not done in parallel, Azerbaijan’s love of renewable and alternative energy will not be a foreign currency earner for the country, but the next time it will turn into a currency producing and dependent field…”
According to Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, this step is the beginning of a new stage of development in the field of renewable energy in Azerbaijan.