The review team was composed of officials from the Swedish Energy Agency, Albanian Agency for Natural Resources and the EU Delegation in Azerbaijan, supported by experts from the Energy Charter Secretariat. During their visit, the team met with-high level representatives from the Azeri Ministry of Industry and Energy, State Company on Alternative and Renewable Energy (former State Agency), Ministry of Economic Development, Azerenergy OSC, the Tariff Council, State Statistics Committee, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, and the State Committee on Urban Planning and Architecture. Meetings were also held with the representatives of the Baku Electricity Distribution Company, the State District Heating Company, the Technical University and several NGOs.
The energy sector plays a central role in the economy of Azerbaijan. Energy production, however, is largely reliant on the exploitation of the country's hydrocarbon reserves. In the power sector, activities are under way to rehabilitate the installed capacity, which will substantially increase the efficiency of fuel consumption for power generation. Rehabilitation of transmission and distribution networks is also underway and the electricity losses were significantly decreased over the last few years. Utilisation of the existing solar and wind renewable energy potential has been declared a priority by the Azeri government, but no concrete projects were realised as yet.
This rehabilitation of power plants could be considered the main progress in the field of energy efficiency in Azerbaijan. While this is an important step, the issue of energy efficiency could be put much higher on the political agenda in Azerbaijan. There is still need to analyse of the existing energy efficiency potential and to further extend the existing regulatory framework related to energy efficiency and renewable energy, as well as to establish the institutional arrangements for its implementation.
The review team developed a set of recommendations to the Azeri government for further improvements in the energy efficiency legislative and institutional framework, for the introduction of market-oriented principles in the energy sector and improvement in the existing electricity, heat and gas tariffs. Suggestions for energy efficiency programmes and measures for different sectors were also outlined.
The team discussed their preliminary findings with the Azeri Ministry of Industry and Energy and other relevant governmental institutions on the last day of the mission. The findings of the review team and the in-depth energy efficiency review report will be presented at the PEEREA Working Group meeting in late September, with final recommendations expected to be submitted for endorsement to the Energy Charter Conference later in the year.
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