In light of the recent progress with renewable energy sector in Azerbaijan, State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources (SAARES) in cooperation with IRENA recently initiated the RRA process with a view to support the country’s efforts in strengthening the enabling environment for renewable energy deployment.
The RRA aims to identify actions needed to overcome a country’s barriers to renewable energy deployment, with IRENA providing technical support and expertise to facilitate consultations among different national stakeholders. While the process helps to shape appropriate policy and regulatory choices, each country determines which renewable energy sources and technologies are most relevant for them.
As part of the RRA process, IRENA and SAARES jointly organized a Expert Consultation Workshop to discuss challenges for the development of renewables in Azerbaijan and gather feedback from stakeholders on preliminary recommendations to address them. In order to ensure a fruitful dialogue, IRENA prepared a Discussion Paper for participants, which outlines key issues hindering rapid advancement of renewables in Azerbaijan.
Overall, participants came to an agreement that the issues highlighted in the Discussion Paper are of high relevance and capture key challenges that need to be addressed. Group discussions offered an effective platform for exchange of ideas and perspectives among the stakeholders, who identified several preliminary recommendations:
- Policy, Strategy and Institutional Issues - participants acknowledged that the current legislative framework for renewable energy is highly complex, with more than 100 secondary applicable laws and recognized the importance of a separate law for renewables. It was also noted that the current law on renewable energy from 2004 requires substantial revision, and that permitting procedures need to be reconsidered.
- Action Plan on renewable energy development – there was a consensus among stakeholders that an Action Plan could be helpful in identifying concrete steps towards achieving set targets for renewable energy. In this respect, the expertise of international partners, like IRENA, would be crucial in forming an effective plan.
- Policy Support Mechanisms/Tariffs – participants also agreed on the need of designing appropriate policy support mechanisms for renewables in Azerbaijan. Several options were discussed in this context, including Feed-In Tariff and Auctions (or a hybrid of the two). Tax cuts and preferential treatment for investors in renewables have also been noted as highly important.
- Financing and Risk Mitigation – government guarantees were discussed by participants as means to reduce the perceived risk by investors. Additionally, possibility of establishing a dedicated fund to support renewables was also considered.
- Ms. Diala Hawila, IRENA - Global Renewable Energy Developments
- Mr. Jabir Yusifov, SAARES - Overview of the energy sector and renewable energy developments in Azerbaijan
- Mr. Prasoon Agarwal, IRENA - The RRA Methodology
- Ms. Katarina Uherova Hasbani, IRENA Consultant - Renewables in Azerbaijan – Status and Challenges
- Mr. Gurbuz Gonul, IRENA - Setting the scene for group discussions