Oil Rich Azerbaijan Develops Its Renewable Energy Projects

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Sept. 23 (UPI) — Oil-rich Azerbaijan will begin implementing renewable energy projects next year.

Trend news agency reported Wednesday that Azeri Industry and Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, addressing an international energy congress in Baku, told participants, “We intend to use wind and solar power, as well as power of small rivers in under-populated areas of Azerbaijan because it is difficult to build high tension transmission lines there,” adding that, in spite of the country’s hydrocarbon resources, alternative energy is one of the government’s priority tasks.

Aliyev told participants that Azerbaijan had established a government agency for developing alternative energy sources, which was working on creating a legal framework for both indigenous and foreign investment.

Despite the effects of the global slowdown, Azerbaijan’s economy due to its oil and natural gas wealth remains one of the Caspian’s most dynamic.

In 1994 Azerbaijan signed the “contract of the century,” a $7.4 billion production-sharing agreement with Western oil companies. As a result, by 2007 Azerbaijan’s economy was expanding at more than triple the rate of China’s, becoming the fastest-growing economy in the world, with the International Monetary Fund pegging its growth at 29 percent.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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