What is the prospect of wind energy in Georgia?
21 August, 2017
Alternative energy has been popular in many countries of the world in recent years. Georgia is no exception in this regard and construction of new power plants is already beginning, after Gori wind power plant project proved to be successful.

"Energy Development Fund of Georgia" has already planned two wind power plant projects, which will be headed by the company called "Çalik Georgia Wind": Up to 50 megawatt capacity plant will be built in the village of Nigoza, Kaspi municipality
and another one, 120 megawatt plant will be built in Sachkhere. Another wind power plant at 150 MW will be built in Zestafoni municipality. So, within a few years, Georgia will have enough wind power.
What are the prospects of wind energy in Georgia? - Vice-president of Georgian Academy of Energy Anzor Chitanava responds to this question.

- In the modern world, there is a marked tendency to use more renewable energy sources and thus to overcome energy crisis that will start when oil and gas expire. This tendency will continue, as renewable energy sources are needed like air. It is often said that gas and oil alternatives can become coal and nuclear energy. These two sources can indeed replace such energy sources that expire over time. So many countries have started working on this problem. The source of renewable energy is the wind, the sun, the oceans are being studied too, but every country has its priority and it is desirable to choose the most optimal way. Every state uses the resources available to it.
Wind power plant in Gori, Georgia

- Which is the most optimal for Georgia in your opinion?

- Our aim is to improve the existing system and use our main resource, which is hydropower. 70 percent of our energy comes from hydropower plants. Although we have thermal plants as well, the first wind power plant in Gori was built, but we cannot rely on the wind energy. Why? – Because four times more wind energy is required to replace hydropower - this is scientifically calculated and established. It is true that we have a coal resource, but we cannot rely on it either. Therefore, the only resource that can be used in the near future is hydro energy. This is recognized by most competent specialists and this is the path Georgia has taken.

We have already come to the reality that the demands of the population are growing and the economy needs much more electricity than our energy sector generates.

- What should be done to eliminate this imbalance?

- The construction of hydroelectric plants should be further intensified - I mean small, medium and large hydro power plants. Replacement of their potential is unimaginable by wind and solar energy. Wind energy can be used as an extra link in this system, but it cannot support us. Hydro energy should be a pillar, and wind and solar energy - a source and a supplier that helps our energy system. In the next 10 years, wind and solar plants may only generate 300-400 megawatts, and our power supply will not be enough. Moreover, wind speed cannot determine everything. Wind speed and duration are important but environmental factors should also be taken into account when building wind-plant: what will happen to the water resource that is close to the plant, the vegetation cover, and the negative effects caused by noise and vibration.

- But many people think that the first wind station in Gori is very successful.

- It's good that we have this power plant but it depends on what we mean by saying that it is successful. At a professional level, building such a power plant requires a solid cost and the cost of electricity generated by it is quite high - wind energy is 3-4 times expensive than hydroelectricity. The society is already suffering from tariffs and it is necessary to take into consideration all this. Some people think that if we build wind and solar stations, we will immediately stop and everything will be fine, but it is not. This is an acceptable and progressive source of energy, but at the same time very expensive.

- HPPs too have disadvantages, don’t they?

- All types of constructions have their negative sides, but the most important thing is what the positive side is. In any case, it is wrong to believe that hydropower has been outdated and no one uses it and the construction of power plants is a dream of people in the 19th and 20th centuries. These opinions are often encountered in the Georgian press, but this is totally not true.

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