AKIPRESS.COM - A delegation, comprised of 16 senior government officials and energy sector experts from the countries of Central Asia (CA), at the invitation of the European Union (EU) visited Georgia for a study tour on “Sustainable Energy in Practice: Georgia’s Success and EU Best Practices”. Representatives of the Ministry of Energy, the Green Energy Fund under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, and the State Agency for Architecture, Construction and Housing and Utilities (Gosstroy) under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic took part in this event.
Organised by the EU-funded project “Sustainable Energy Connectivity in Central Asia (SECCA)”, the study tour from 13 to 21 November 2023 showcased Georgia’s successful energy sector reforms, aligned with EU policies and Energy Community standards.
Under the European Green Deal, the EU Member States are moving towards a climate neutral economy. To ensure that no one is left behind, the EU prioritises just and inclusive energy transition globally and calls for acting decisively on renewables and energy efficiency deployment. With 70 % of its electricity sourced from renewables, Georgia stands out as a regional renewable powerhouse. Through strategic reforms aligned with EU integration and Green Deal, Georgia has transformed its energy sector, ensuring energy security and making its energy sector a key driver of the regional economy. Moreover, with initiatives like the EU's Global Gateway, Georgia aims to become a net electricity exporter to Europe.
In the course of the visit, Mr Emilbek Orozbaev, Director of the Green Energy Fund, paid a courtesy call to the First Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Mr Romeo Mikautadze. The parties expressed their readiness to strengthen cooperation on sustainable energy.
In addition, with the support of the SECCA project, on 17 November 2023, the Green Energy Fund under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Georgian Energy Development Fund (GEDF) under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
“Kyrgyzstan and Georgia have a lot in common in terms of nature and hydropower resources. The Green Energy Fund was established exactly a year ago. Its mission is to develop and attract financing to the renewable energy sector. There is a similar institution in Georgia – GEDF. With the helpful coordination by the European Union’s SECCA project, we signed the Memorandum of Understanding with the Georgian fund to establish cooperation and exchange experience and best practices. Of particular interest to us is the GEDF’s experience in identifying promising renewable energy projects and supporting their development through pre-feasibility studies and preliminary environmental impact assessments, as well as promotion of green investments,” Emilbek Orozbaev said.
Mr Paata Janelidze, SECCA Team Leader, informed of the project’s and two funds’s further work plan: “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Kyrgyz Green Energy Fund and the Georgian Energy Development Fund is an important step. There are already further activities planned. With the SECCA’s support, it is planned that GEDF will develop a business model for the operation of the Green Energy Fund. We will conduct financial modelling and pre-feasibility studies for small hydropower projects. Already in March-April 2024, we hope to present the results of this work to our partners in Kyrgyzstan.”
This study tour aligns with the EU’s international efforts to promote sustainable energy policies and underscores the significance of international cooperation in achieving just energy transition. It provided an opportunity for extensive knowledge sharing between the participants and local experts, private sector players, and investors. The CA delegates gained first-hand knowledge on overall policy and legal framework for the promotion of sustainable energy, integrated energy and climate planning, practical aspects of promotion of energy efficiency in buildings and industry, project development and implementation, promotion of green investments, renewable energy auctions, and regional networks.