PRESS RELEASE: Caspian Policy Center Releases Report and Holds Discussion on Utilization of Renewable Energy Sources in the Caspian Region
Author:Caspian Policy Center
Oct 15, 2020
New report explores the Caspian countries’ untapped capacity for solar, wind, and hydro energy and generates a discussion on the steps needed to advance renewable energy production in the region.
Washington, D.C. — On October 14, the Caspian Policy Center (CPC) hosted a panel discussion with experts from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Atlantic Council, and Kazakh Invest to discuss the utilization of renewable energy in the Caspian region. The webinar was held in conjunction with the release of a new report, “The Considerable Potential for Renewable Energy in the Caspian Region,” which looks at how selected countries in the region can explore their potential for hydro, solar, and wind energy.
“The Greater Caspian Region faces a rising demand for electricity from industrial, commercial, and individual consumers,” said Efgan Nifti, Chief Executive Officer of the Caspian Policy Center. “Unreliable electric supplies inhibit robust economic growth and present further challenges for attracting revenue and investment. Today, at CPC, we are convening experts from the renewable energy sector and financial institutions operating in the Caspian region to discuss the ways the region can harness its vast hydro, solar, and wind power potential.”
The panelists, Ambassador (Ret.) Robert F. Cekuta, Economy and Energy Program Chair at CPC; Dante Schulz, Research Assistant at CPC; Dr. Steven Burns, Chief of Energy and Infrastructure at the USAID Europe and Eurasia Division; and Zhandos Temirgali, Advisor to the Chairman of Kazakh Invest, discussed the steps needed to advance renewable energy production in the Caspian region.
“Renewable energy sources really have the potential to make power systems more resilient and lower-cost,” said Dr. Burns.
The diverse terrain of the Caspian region provides excellent conditions for harnessing its potential for renewable energy. The webinar, moderated by Dr. Robert F. Ichord Jr., Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and Former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Transformation of the Energy Resources Bureau at the U.S. Department of State, facilitated fruitful discourse among the webinar participants on the economic, social, and political incentives for governments in the Caspian region to conduct full and detailed inventories of wind, solar, and hydro resources and follow through with renewable energy projects to achieve renewable energy goals.
“Looking at renewables is not just about greenness, which is a focus of a lot of people in the West, but increased efficiency and lowering costs of these technologies, particularly of solar and wind,” said Ambassador Cekuta.
Renewable power in the Caspian region provides a crucial opportunity for addressing its energy needs. The report looks at the examples of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan which have diverse landscapes with optimal wind conditions, sunshine, and water sources to produce electricity with available and efficient technologies.
Caspian countries have already moved towards better employing these resources and technologies, often by engaging with foreign entities. These countries can take advantage of foreign support for renewable energy projects to boost the development of renewables and fully utilize their potential. Additional key findings from the report include:
- Use energy policy as a platform for regional cooperation. Building further cooperation among the countries of the region in energy matters, particularly in renewables, will boost efficiencies and improve supplies.
- Think big. Countries in the region have considerable stocks of older buildings. Retrofitting these buildings, for example, for solar power would create jobs as well as boost energy supplies and cut harmful emissions.
- Collaborate with neighboring countries. Communicating and cooperating among the region’s countries is important to boost efficiencies and improve supplies.
This report is part of a series of studies to better understand how the Caspian countries can utilize their potential for renewable power sources. To sign up for updates or to learn more about the CPC’s work on renewable energy, visit https://www.caspianpolicy.org/category/report/.
Watch the Full Webinar Recording
ABOUT CASPIAN POLICY CENTER
The Caspian Policy Center (CPC) is an independent, nonprofit research think tank based in Washington D.C. Economic, political, energy, and security issues of the Caspian region constitute the central research focus of the Center. CPC aims at becoming a primary research and debate platform in the Caspian region with relevant publications, events, projects, and media productions to nurture a comprehensive understanding of the intertwined affairs of the Caspian region.
With an inclusive, scholarly, and innovative approach, the Caspian Policy Center presents a platform where diverse voices from academia, business, and the policy world from both the region and the nation’s capital interact to produce distinct ideas and insights about the outstanding issues of the Caspian region. Learn more at caspianpolicy.org.
For further information or to arrange an interview with our experts, please contact us at [email protected].