Economy
Posted: 3 months ago

“Beyond the Crisis: Clean Energy for Green Recovery and Growth” – EU and MoESD Launch EU Sustainable Energy Week Campaign

The EU in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia is launching an EU Sustainable Energy Week Campaign under the slogan “Beyond the crisis: clean energy for green recovery and growth”.

The Sustainable Energy Week information campaign is being conducted from June 22 to June 26. Due to COVID-19-related health and safety recommendations, the majority of activities are being implemented on social, broadcasting, and online media. A series of awareness-raising activities have been prepared for Sustainable Energy Week including facts and figures, video success stories, tips, and other information materials.

EU Sustainable Energy Week in Georgia is an opportunity for all actors engaged in the sector to promote their work and motivate change.
 
“It is clear that we cannot afford to continue to live at the environment’s expense by depleting natural resources and polluting the air, water, and soil. Every year, the EU organizes a Sustainable Energy week to raise awareness of this issue and highlight the central role that energy plays in it.  There are two main messages: we need to reduce our energy use, and we need to transition from fossil fuels to green energy.  Both these avenues have environmental, but also financial, benefits.

Georgia has several untapped clean energy resources, which have the potential to make the air cleaner and safer to breathe, prevent global warming, improve the health of citizens as well as creating new jobs.

The European Union has been actively supporting Georgia to improve its energy supply, security and connectivity, as well as to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewables. We are helping the country to reform its energy sector to make its energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable for households and businesses. I would like to once again reiterate my support and congratulate Georgia on its recent adoption of energy efficiency legislation, which was another solid step towards a greener and more sustainable Georgia!” – said Carl Hartzell, EU Ambassador to Georgia.
 
“We greatly appreciate the support of European Union and international donors provide for the implementation of energy reforms in Georgia. These reforms aim to improve the country’s energy security through harmonization of the national legislation with the EU’s legal framework; through sustainable development based on renewable energy sources; energy efficiency in the household and commercial sectors; energy market liberalization; enhancement of investment prospects in the energy sector; etc.
 
In 2006, Georgia joined the European Commission's Sustainable Energy Week and has been annually celebrating the Week ever since. Sustainable Energy Week is a good communication forum for building an effective dialogue with the public to share what we are doing for the country’s safe energy future and to hear their feedback. The Week was even more important this year, as the country is now entering an active phase of the energy reforms, meaning implementation of all requirements or measures envisaged by the new laws recently adopted in the energy sector.

Sustainable energy is important for Georgia's energy independence. Our country is one of Europe’s lead producers of abundant renewable energy, yet it uses only a small part of the generated energy.

 
We have a balanced energy policy that envisages the construction of new energy infrastructure in parallel with support for energy efficiency and energy saving as well as alternative energy development and introduction of new European technologies in this sector. The new Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy Law provides a legal basis for the country's energy sector to become more competitive and attractive. Maximum utilization of renewable energy and the introduction of energy efficient measures along with reduced environmental impact are also prerequisites for the country's energy independence. Therefore, these activities are important not only for the energy sector but also for Georgia’s sustainable development in general.” – noted Ms. Natia Turnava, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.
 
Background Information
Launched in 2006 as an initiative of the European Commission, the EU Sustainable Energy Week gathers every year hundreds of organizations and individuals across Europe and beyond to spread best practices, inspire new ideas to contribute to achieving the EU’s climate and energy targets with regards to greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy sources.

Georgia is working to reinforce Energy Efficiency within the country, promote the use of Renewable Energy sources, and modernize its energy infrastructure. Georgia’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution voluntarily accepted to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% compared with a business-as-usual scenario by 2030.

The energy policy of Georgia puts a strong emphasis on the development of renewable energy resources, the adoption of EU acquis to ensure sustainable production and use of energy, as well as the implementation of an integrated approach to energy efficiency.
 
Georgian Institutions are working in cooperation with international partners to reach these ambitious goals which will contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution but also provide the ground for cheaper, more secure and sustainable energy production in the country. This is a key challenge which will bring benefit to all the citizens of Georgia.

What does Sustainable Energy mean for Georgia?
 
Consumption of fossil fuels for power, heating, and transport has contributed 80% of increased greenhouse gas emissions since 1970. Moreover, between now and 2040, global energy demand is projected to grow by 30%. (Source: Global Environment Facility)

In Georgia, the energy sector is responsible for the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions (62%), followed by agriculture (19%), production and industry (12%) and waste (7%). (Source: UNDP)

Although Georgia is producing an important share of Renewable Energy through hydropower, the country needs also to import every year almost 70% of the energy it is consuming, including nearly all fossil fuels.

The reinforcement of Sustainable energy is an opportunity for the country and people to increase the country's independence, reduce energy costs, limit the negative impacts on the environment and climate change, as well as contribute to improving the health of all citizens and biological species.

Renewable sources of energy (wind power, solar power, hydroelectric power, ocean energy, geothermal energy, biomass, and biofuels) are alternatives to fossil fuels that contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, diversifying energy supply and reducing dependence on unreliable and volatile fossil fuel markets, in particular oil and gas.

Energy efficiency is the biggest opportunity for advancing sustainable energy: the best Energy is the one we do not consume! Using less energy and eliminating energy waste, can significantly contribute to climate change mitigation efforts by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, energy efficiency measures can lower the costs on a household and economy-wide level, boost sustainable growth and job creation. Apart from that, energy efficiency is one of the ways to reduce demand for energy imports and strengthening the country’s energy independence.

Some of the most recent progress in Georgia in this sector are:

  • In 2019 the Energy and Water Supply Law and the Renewable Energy Law were adopted by the Parliament
  • In 2019 the Energy Labelling Law was adopted by the Parliament·      
  • In 2020 the Georgian Parliament adopted legislation on Energy Efficiency and Energy Performance of Buildings, bringing the country closer to EU standards  
  • In 2020 Georgia successfully completes the 3rd phase of the Energy Sector Reform Programme, a joint German KfW, French AFD and EU initiative

EU Support to Sustainable Energy in Georgia
In Georgia, the EU is supporting numerous programmes focused on reinforcement of sustainable Energy in the country:  

  • EU4Energy (EUR 21mln) is financing projects and programmes that help to reform energy markets and to reduce national energy dependence and consumption. Over the longer term, this makes energy supply more reliable, transparent and affordable, thus reducing energy poverty and energy bills for both citizens and the private sector;
  • Covenant of Mayors grants for municipalities and CSOs demonstration projects; currently aiming to create sustainable biomass heating in energy efficiency renovated kindergartens;
  • Joint initiative of the European Union and International Financial Institutions to scale up energy efficiency in buildings by creating the necessary regulatory framework and a programme of energy efficiency rehabilitation of 500 public schools across Georgia;
  • Climate resilience upgrade of Enguri and Vardnili hydropower plants;
  • E5P (Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment) Fund, providing support to sustainable municipal projects, including efficient buses and energy efficiency rehabilitation of schools and other public buildings;
  • Regional International Financial Institutions lending facilities supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, including Green for Growth Fund and Green Economy Financing Facility.

All these projects contribute to saving energy, making Georgia more independent and resilient, reducing costs for citizens and companies.  
 
To follow Sustainable Energy Week activities in Georgia, visit:
https://eu4georgia.ge/energy/
https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanUnioninGeorgia