Georgia ratified the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) in 1995 and the Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects (PEEREA) in 2004. By ratifying the Protocol, countries commit themselves to formulating and implementing policies for improving energy efficiency and reducing the negative environmental impact of the energy cycle (Art. 5). The guiding principle of the PEEREA is that contracting parties shall cooperate and, as appropriate, assist each other in developing and implementing energy efficiency policies, laws and regulations (Art. 3).
The country review process is a core activity in monitoring and facilitating the implementation of the Protocol. The in-depth energy efficiency reviews, implemented under PEEREA, have proven to be an important tool in assessing the progress of member countries in fulfilling their commitments under the Protocol. They also provide peer guidance to governments in developing and implementing energy efficiency policies.
The current in-depth review of Georgia's energy efficiency policies was carried out in 2010, following the previous review in 2005. The in-depth review report was discussed and approved by the PEEREA Working Group in 2011.
As Georgia makes progress with reform of its energy sector, the contribution that energy efficiency can make to its overall energy security will become increasingly visible. This was one of the main conclusions of the Energy Charter's in-depth review of Georgia's energy efficiency policies and programmes, which was completed in 2005.
Georgia has quite significant domestic energy resources relative to its own needs, notably in hydropower, but is still highly dependent on imported oil and gas. Energy infrastructure is in a generally poor state, following years of under-investment and the effects of civil strife. To address these issues, the Georgian government has embarked on a major restructuring and liberalisation programme, with the emphasis on creating a strong market foundation for the energy sector.
A priority for the Georgian government has been to secure adequate and diverse sources of energy supply, and the Review encouraged the government to take a balanced approach between energy supply and demand measures. The development of a comprehensive energy efficiency strategy and legislation will need to be accompanied by efforts to strengthen the institutional capacity to implement energy efficiency policies.
The review was conducted by a team from four Charter member states (Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the FYR of Macedonia), led by Johan Vetlesen, Deputy Director General in the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, and assisted by the Secretariat. Recommendations were adopted by the Energy Charter Conference in December 2005.