Energy Insecurity and Renewable Energy Sources: Prospects and Challenges for Azerbaijan
As one of the hydrocarbon producers of the world, Azerbaijan is looking to generate 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
We investigate the prospects and challenges of renewable energy source (RES) usage in Azerbaijan within the context of the country’s energy security goals. Aiming to minimize its energy insecurity problems and ensure the country’s energy security, Azerbaijan has established its RES policies according to the norms of sustainable development while simultaneously securing an uninterrupted supply of energy. Using oil export revenues and the established legal infrastructure, Azerbaijan has made significant investments for development in the renewable energy sector since the 2000s. Considering that there is a short time to 2020 and energy security is a strategic part of Azerbaijan’s national security aims, we examine how close the country is to achieving the goal of obtaining 20% of its electricity using RES and what challenges prevent the realization of this target. Starting from a thermal power plant accident in July 2018, which revealed many of the deficiencies in Azerbaijan’s energy strategies, we consider the country’s energy security and insecurity issues in terms of the legal framework, environmental policies, and actual achievements as shown in government data. We also assess the prospects for Azerbaijan’s transition actions to RES, as well as potential solutions to remove the challenges that the country faces.