“It will be very easy for us to move to offshore green energy being an oil and gas country,” Azerbaijan’s deputy Energy Minister Elnur Soltanov told NE Global, Report informs.
Soltanov reminded that natural gas and oil are exhaustible.
“By moving to renewable energy, we’re placing our partnership with European countries on a horizon that will last forever, so to me, symbolically, that is very important,” he added. “I’m glad that we started with oil, we went to natural gas, which is the cleanest form of fossil fuels, and now the circle is complete with green energy, and we’re doing all this with our European partners. The reason we’re talking about adding green energy to our energy mix regarding our cooperation with European countries is that in the same Caspian Sea, we discovered a huge source of offshore wind. We’re talking about 157 GW. This is really 20 times more than what Azerbaijan needs.”
The Deputy Energy Minister said the same way the massive Shah Deniz gas field laid the foundation of Azerbaijan’s natural gas relationship with Europe, the potential for 157 GW of offshore wind is a firm basis on which Baku can build a relationship with European countries.
He acknowledged the big distance between Azerbaijan and Europe.
“This basically means increased cost. But the scale of the offshore wind is so huge that we believe there is something that could become the basis of our energy cooperation with Europe,” the deputy Energy Minister said.
Soltanov also stressed that local content is going to be important because renewable energy technologies are very expensive: “We have ships and certain infrastructure and experience in terms of oil and gas platforms. This experience now could be used, at least some of that, in building offshore wind platforms. There are very interesting synergies.”
Soltanov emphasized that Azerbaijan gained a lot of experience and mutual trust in terms of its oil and gas relationship with Europe, and now the same experience can be taken and applied to the field of green energy: “It’s the same political framework, it’s the same financial institutions that are going to be acting here as well. So, all that experience is very handy as we move from natural gas to green energy. So, we are not inventing something new, we’re going down the same parallel path. For instance, one interesting thing is, in Azerbaijan, most of the electricity is natural gas based. As we produce more and more green energy, this means we can be saving more and more gas which could be exported again to our partners.”