Parviz Shahbazov: "Cooperation in energy sphere is Azerbaijan's priority"

Parviz Shahbazov: "Cooperation in energy sphere is Azerbaijan's priority"

The Russian Energy Week international forum kicked off yesterday in Moscow's central exhibition hall Manezh, during which the ministerial meeting titled "The Effectiveness of Energy Regulation: General Approaches and Divergence between Countries" was held. The organizers of the meeting proceeded from the fact that the energy sectors of various countries need to respond to shared challenges arising from the climate agenda and the current technological revolution.  Nations need to identify ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions, establish their position on the development of nuclear power, and solve issues caused by a deficit in infrastructure at a time marked by digitalization and a new wave of electrification. Naturally, when tackling these challenges, regulators consider aspects specific to each country: the structure of the economy, the availability of resources, environmental and social requirements, and others. At the same time, they need to strike a balance between the interests of consumers and producers with regards tariffs, and solve issues related to long-term energy security and environmental safety. 

Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, Serbia's Minister of Mining and Energy Aleksandar Antić, Minister of Energy of Belarus Viktor Karankevich, Russia's Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Equatorial Guinea's Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy Minister Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Hungary's Minister of Foreign Economic Relations and Foreign Affairs Peter Siyarto, as well as Azerbaijan's Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov answered the followed questions: Which of the regulators’ solutions have proved to be the most effective from the point of view of investment attractiveness, energy security, and public spending? What other parameters can be used to assess the effectiveness of government policy in the energy sector? Which new factors (the spread of electric cars, trade wars, technological equality etc.) may influence a change in government policy? Could government policy be used to prepare for a potential sea change in global energy?

The head of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy told about the main achievements of the republic in the energy sector and developments in the field of renewable sources.

"Over 15 years, the economy of Azerbaijan grew by more than 3.5 times. More than $250 billion was invested, half of which - foreign direct investment. As many as $95 billion was invested in the oil and gas sector. We have rather seriously diversified our routes - we have different means of delivery in different directions, mainly oil and gas pipelines. Our last achievement in the field of energy is the implementation one of the largest gas projects in the world - the Southern Gas Corridor. The length of this pipeline, which will deliver gas to Georgia, Turkey, as well as to European countries and the Balkan countries, including Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and the south of Italy, is more than 3,500 km. In total, we will initially carry up to 16 billion cubic meters of Caspian gas per year," Parviz Shahbazov said.

According to him, Azerbaijan has proved to be a very reliable partner in all energy projects: "We have huge investments in the energy sector, primarily in oil and gas. Today, we plan to develop the renewable energy sector. We have a great potential for that. We intend to create a separate serious legislative base for the development of renewable energy sources. At the same time, we want to create incentive mechanisms in this sector. No matter how this sphere develops, government’s support is always needed. Now we are optimizing our projects on power lines that we were able to take the necessary electric power, which we intend to generate from renewable energy sources."

According to Parviz Shahbazov, a large reform program is being implemented within the strategic road map in Azerbaijan since 2016. "One of the main parts of these reforms is related to the energy sector. Therefore, taking all this into account, I want to address representatives of many countries from here and invite them to Azerbaijan to jointly implement new projects. International cooperation for Azerbaijan in the energy sector has always been a priority. Almost everything we have achieved (and the energy sector is the engine of Azerbaijan’s economy), we have achieved due to a very high level of international cooperation."