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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

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Apr
16

A Good February for Electricity Generation: Time for Reflection, After Last Year’s Worries

  In February 2017, Georgia experienced the largest gap between generation and consumption in the last decade. This was followed by an even greater gap in March 2017. The size of those gaps, and the fact that the historical trend was suggesting an increase in the electricity gap, prompted policy proposals emphasizing the need to encourage investments in power generation. The goal of such policies would be to avoid future energy security challenges due to electricity shortages and fast increasing electricity prices. Most of the strategies suggested s...
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Mar
19

2018 – A Turning Point for the Georgian Electricity Market?

This year Georgia’s electricity market will have to go through some crucial reforms. The signing of the Association Agreement and Georgia’s accession to the energy community in October 2016 imposed some important obligations on the country to reform its energy markets. For the electricity market, 2018 will be a turning point. Among the key obligations the country committed to under the energy community accession protocol were the adoption of: (i) Directive 2009/72/EC, concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and (ii) Regulation (EC)...
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Dec
11

Do You Have Questions About the Upcoming Pension Reform? Here Are Some Answers

Over the past months, we have been asked several times questions about the upcoming pension reform. Here are some answers. For whom is the contribution to the fund mandatory? Who can join/contribute to the fund? All those individuals who receive their salary net of taxes because their employer pays the income tax for them are automatically enrolled in the fund. Those who are 40 or more years of age will have – after 3 months in the fund – the possibility to opt out. However, this “window” to opt out will close after the 5th month in the fund. Those who a...
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Dec
09

Why Is Georgia Importing So Much Electricity?

In October 2017, Georgian power plants generated 828 mln. KWh of electricity, marginally up (+0.79%) compared to September. Following the traditional seasonal pattern, the share of electricity produced by renewable sources declined to 71% of total generation (87% in September), while thermal power generation’s share increased, accounting for 29% of total generation (compared to 13% in September). When we compare last October’s total generation with the total generation of October 2016, however, we observe an 8.7% decrease in total generation (in October ...
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Nov
06

The Long, Hot Summer: Why We Witnessed a Spike in Forest Fires, and What Can Be Done About It – Part II (man-made fires)

Forest fires pose a threat to human life and property. As we discussed in a previous article, most countries throughout the world, Georgia included, suffered from an unusually high number of forest fires during the summer of 2017. In Georgia, this topic was the subject of a spirited public debate about whether these fires were wild or man-made. In our previous article we discussed how natural causes generate wild forest fires. We mentioned that climate change can play a major role in the occurrence of forest fires, because drier conditions and longer hot...
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Oct
02

The Long, Hot Summer: Why Did We Witness a Spike in Forest Fires and What Can Be Done About It – Part I

In the summer of 2017, Georgia experienced an unusually high number of forest fires across the entire country. 35 forest fires were recorded just in August (official data reporting the size of area burned by these fires is not yet available). In almost all regions of the country, several fires were reported. Among them, the conflagration in the Borjomi gorge had the most dramatic consequences: it lasted for seven days (20-27 August), and more than 100 hectares of forest were destroyed. Many people claim that these cannot be all accidental events. Is this...
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