ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Mariam Tsulukidze has not set their biography yet
Jun
28

An Assessment of the Electricity Market in Light of the “Gavrilov Effect”

The latest impact of Gavrilov’s visit to Georgia have fueled societal concerns about the economic consequences of deterioration in Russo-Georgian relations. For instance, due to the Russian government’s decision to cancel flights to Georgia, residents are beginning to worry about potentially adverse economic impacts to the tourism sector. ISET-PI has already discussed the expected impact of such a change, highlighting how these concerns might be unwarranted, as tourism account for 7.6% of the GDP, with Russian tourism contributing only 1.8% to the econom...
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May
31

A Persistent Negative Generation-Consumption Gap, a Puzzle to Be Explored

Looking at consumption and generation trends, it is evident that since August 2018 consumption typically exceeded generation. The negative generation-consumption gap also remained throughout April, amounting to 45 mln. kWh, with a total power generation of 966 mln. kWh and a consumption of 1,012 mln. kWh. Yet why has the generation-consumption gap remained negative since August 2018? Should we also expect the negative gap to persist over the following months? Figure 1. Generation-Consumption Gap A negative generation-consumption gap in April is a relati...
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May
20

Does Your Smartphone Make You an “Unconscious” Villain?

Our dependence on smartphones can hardly be described as anything other than addictive. We invariably use them to document trips and thus to have the world at our fingertips. Though, these precious little gadgets have a dark history that we, as consumers, unconsciously support. Unfortunately, we will not be able to discuss in detail all the negative impacts within the supply chain of smartphones. Nonetheless, we wish this article to serve as an awakening, and a reminder, of what we as consumers are promoting. Moreover, what we - and governments - could d...
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Apr
19

Is Georgia on the Right Path to Reduce Massive Plastic Bag Usage?

  In October 2018, a new law came into force which prohibits producing, importing, and selling single-use bags thinner than 15 microns.1 The second wave of this reform was introduced in April 2019, and expanded to all forms of plastic bags. It is important to ask, why was it necessary to impose a restriction on plastic bags? What are the implications and the expected consequences of the ban? Plastic shopping bags are produced at a rate of one trillion a year and distributed at store checkout counters across the globe. More than two thirds created ar...
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Mar
29

Net-Metering: A Realistic Green Solution to the Generation-Consumption Deficit?

In February 2019, Georgian power plants generated 939 million kWh of electricity, which compared to the previous year represents a 0.5% increase in total generation. On the demand side, consumption amounted to 1,037 mln. kWh, a 2% decrease on an annual basis. Although the negative gap between generation and consumption decreased by 22% (from -126 to -98 mln. kWh), compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, it remained substantial. It is worth highlighting, once again, that this negative gap does not wholly reveal the extent of dependence o...
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Mar
04

Enguri and Vardnili Hydropower Plants (HPPs) and Abkhazian Demand. A Difficult (and Costly) Puzzle for Georgia

Winter has always been a problem for the Georgian electricity system. Even though Georgia has plenty of hydropower, during this season several HPPs — seasonal and small — either stop or substantially reduce electricity generation. In this season, a significant share of hydropower generation comes from two large-scale state-owned pumped-storage HPPs: Enguri and Vardnili. However, exactly when the generation-consumption gap is the largest, most of the electricity produced is used to satisfy the consumption of the Abkhazia region, which on a yearly basis co...
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