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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.

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Feb
01

Do We Need to Worry About the Generation Deficit in the Electricity Market? And What Can Be Done About It?

Looking at annual consumption and generation trends, from 2012-2016, it is clear that generation typically exceeded consumption. Consequently, the generation-consumption gap remained positive. However, in 2017 this trend reverted, and the electricity generated by local resources on the Georgian market was no longer enough to supply the local demand. As shown in Figure 1, the gap widened even further in 2018; with the negative gap increasing by 30% (from 344 mln. kWh in 2017 to 447 mln. kWh in 2018). This significant reversal has motivated us to explore ...
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Jan
25

Why Everyone Should Pay to Use Water, and How This Could (and Probably Will) Be Done in Georgia

“At least we have a lot of water - why should I pay for it?” One can frequently hear this phrase in Georgia. This popular saying is based on the relative abundance of water resources the country has: roughly 15,597 cubic meters of renewable freshwater resources per capita a year, well above the 2,961 cubic meters per capita in the European Union (World Bank 2014). However, having a resource does not mean being able to use it, nor being able to do so in a sustainable manner. Georgia lacks infrastructure both for water supply and sanitation, providing drin...
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Dec
28

Is There Need For a More Competitive Electricity Generation Market?

Why do we care about competitiveness in energy markets? And, what are the benefits of increased competition from the supply side of the electricity market? The main reason for the additional social surplus derives from increased energy consumption at lower prices. Increased competition in the electricity market is expected to translate into fewer market distortions – be they simply due to the abuse of market power or to the survival of inefficient firms – and, therefore, increased efficiency. Increasing the level of competitiveness in the electricity mar...
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Nov
30

Increasing Electricity Imports and Jumping Import Electricity Prices: a Worrisome Development or Data Glitch?

  After the generation deficit of September, the decreasing trend in generation continues, while the gap between consumption and generation keeps widening. Chiefly, compared to September, total electricity generation has decreased by 8% in October 2018, while in contrast with the previous October, 2017, electricity generation has decreased by 5%. This reduction in generation on a yearly basis is specifically due to the decrease in hydropower (-1%) and thermal power generation (-17%), which more than offsets the increase in WPP generation (+4%). Wher...
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Nov
05

Is Russia Back as the Main Foreign Provider of Electricity to the Georgian Market?

After a generation deficit of August, Georgia continues to exhibit a decreasing trend in power generation; compared to August, total electricity generation has decreased by 14% in September 2018. Georgian power plants generated 849 mln. kWh of electricity, while consumption of electricity on the local market was 955 mln. kWh. It should be noted that compared to August, electricity consumption has decreased by 9%.Even though consumption decreased substantially during the month of September, Georgia had to import electricity from foreign power markets. Ove...
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Oct
29

What If You and Your Neighbor Could Share a Micro Power Plant to Produce Your Own Electricity (and Help the Country in the Process)?

Have you ever thought how Tbilisi would look if the existing old Soviet Union era multi-story buildings were renovated and equipped with rooftop solar panels? There are several good reasons why this might be happening in the future, and why the government of Georgia might want to encourage this development. On average, over the last year 84% of Georgia’s electricity generation was provided by hydropower plants. However, hydro resources depend crucially on weather patterns. In our previous blog we documented how a change in weather patterns led to a recor...
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