Hydrocarbons, which are the traditional source of energy used by the world for many years, are gradually being run out and, thus, make the use of alternative and renewable energy sources urgent.
This includes energy from water, wind, sun, biological waste resources, or even sea waves, with the help of certain facilities. The advantage of using this type of energy is that it does not create any environmental problems and does not pollute the nature with any hazardous waste.
The use of renewable sources is based on two important conditions: source of renewable energy and its presence in the area. Its presence mitigates the dependence of countries, territories, economic systems on oil and its price.
The favorable geographic location and climatic conditions allow the widespread use of environmentally friendly alternative energy sources in Azerbaijan.
In January-September 2018, Azerbaijan’s power plants generated 17.2 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity that is 1.3 percent more than in the same period of 2017, according to the report of the State Statistics Committee.
As many as 16.5 billion kilowatt hours of the total electricity generated in January-September 2018 accounted for commercial electricity, which is 1.8 percent more than in January-September 2017.
Thermal power plants generated 15.05 billion kilowatt hours of total commercial electricity in January-September 2018, that is 1.8 percent more than in January-September 2017.
Azerbaijan’s hydro-power plants generated 1.42 billion kilowatt hours of commercial electricity in January-September 2018, that is 0.4 percent less than in January-September 2017.
Wind farms produced 31.9 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is 3.3 times more compared to the same period in 2017, while solar power plants generated 31.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity in the period, 2.8 percent less compared to the same period in 2017.
Aiming to lessen its dependency on oil, Azerbaijan impelments a number of measures for further development of alternative energy sector.
The State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources plans to implement 23 projects worth 13 million manat as part of the strategic roadmap for the development of public services in 2018-2020.
The projects cover the construction of 420 megawatt wind, water and biofuel power plants. The capacity of wind power stations will be 350 megawatts, solar power stations will be 50 megawatts, and biofuel power plants will be equal to 20 megawatts. Construction of wind power stations will amount to 1020.0 million manat, solar power stations – 148.2 million manat, biofuel power stations – 116.0 million manat.
The use of wind energy in Azerbaijan is considered prospective. More than 270 days of strong winds were captured on the Absheron Peninsula and in the coastal zone of the Caspian Sea. The average annual speed of the wind is 7.2 meters per second. The calculations show that a wind power plant with a capacity of 500 kW prevents emissions of 750 to 1,250 tons of carbon dioxide and 3-6 tons of other harmful substances compared to the coal-fired power plant.
The construction of a wind power plant with a capacity of 50 MW in the Khizi region of the Republic of Azerbaijan was completed in 2014.
According to the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources, Azerbaijan has about 800 MW of annual wind energy reserves due to its geographical location, natural conditions and economic infrastructure. This is about 2.4 billion kWh of electricity, in other words it is possible to save about 1 million tons of fuel per year due to the wind energy.