Energy giant BP has announced it has signed an agreement to explore renewable energy opportunities in oil rich Azerbaijan.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed between BP and the Republic of Azerbaijan, follows the Government of Azerbaijan’s development of a renewables framework plan.
The plan claimed it was “important” for the country to increase its share of renewable energy generation.
A recent Azerbaijan Energy Regulatory Agency (AERA) report said that the country currently has put 3500 megawatts (MW) of renewables generation into operation over the last twelve years, mainly in thermal, hydro and solar power.
But the country currently suffers from a dearth of wind energy, with only 60.7MW in operation.
The report added that Azerbaijan plans to commission an additional 400MW by 2020.
Gary Jones, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, said: “We look forward to working with the Government to understand and jointly explore the potential renewables opportunities in the country.
“We support the development of the planned framework for the renewable energy sector in Azerbaijan.
“Globally, we have been in the renewables sector for more than 20 years and have a great deal of experience to share with the country. Renewable power production is expected to remain the fastest growing form of energy in the world as the energy mix is shifting towards lower carbon sources.
“We welcome the recent announcements by the Government to develop a regulatory framework for renewables and are pleased to have signed today’s MoU to help the country’s efforts in this area.”
BP Alternative Energy currently has a portfolio across the three areas of renewable fuels, renewable power and renewal products, adding it is looking at “the whole spectrum” of renewable energy opportunities in Azerbaijan.
Parviz Shahbazov, Azerbaijan’s energy minister, said: “Increasing alternative and renewable energy production and raising their role in the energy security are currently important issues to be solved, as set by the head of state of Azerbaijan.
“We are currently studying the international experience, developing the country’s legal framework and conducting consultations with international companies for the development of renewable energy.
“With the document we signed today, what Azerbaijan has accomplished in the area of renewable energy sources will enter a new stage of development. I believe our long cooperation with BP based on a strong partnership in the oil and gas sector will be beneficial for the renewable energy sector as well, enabling us to contribute together to the development of clean energy.”