ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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Georgian Energy Security: Reflecting on the September Power Market Data

After facing a generation deficit during the month of August, Georgia continued to experience a decrease in power generation. In September 2019, generation decreased by 3% compared to September 2018 and by 19% compared to August 2019. Georgian power plants generated 821 mln kWh of electricity while consumption of electricity in the local market was 972 mln kWh. Compared to August, electricity consumption decreased by 12%. Even though consumption decreased substantially during the month of September (at least partially due to lower demand for air conditio...
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The Warning Bells are Ringing: A Difficult Summer Season for the Georgian Electricity Market

Historically, the main concern in monitoring the Georgian electricity market derives from the negative generation-consumption gap arising in the winter season. However, persistent electricity deficits over ten months between August 2018 and August 2019 suggest that the number of months characterized by a negative generation-consumption gap might be on the rise. Looking at Figure 1 below, generation can only clearly be seen to exceed consumption twice during the past 12 months, in May and June. This year has been the first time that Georgia has faced an e...
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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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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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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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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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