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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
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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Oct
22

One Step Forward on a Long Journey

  “With the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), humanity has entered a new phase. The 4IR has become the lived reality for millions of people around the world, and is creating new opportunities for business, government and individuals” – Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. The 4IR, as envisioned by Professor Schwab, is about breakthroughs in the fields of artificial intelligence, genetics, computing, etc. that are changing the world in which we live at breathtaking speed. With this vision in mind, the World Economic F...
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Oct
22

No Country for Wheat Trucks?!

About two months ago, the Georgian government announced the introduction of restrictions on wheat imports and their transit by road transport. However, this idea was soon abandoned in the wake of a concerted backlash from a number of stakeholders (including small-scale wheat importers, truck drivers, and flour-milling plants that use road-imported wheat). The culmination of the subsequent protests saw one truck driver scale the roof of the building of Revenue Service’s customs clearance zone, pour gasoline and threaten to set himself on fire. In response...
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Oct
15

Georgia’s New Gold Rush: Or the Economic Prospects of Export of Medical Marijuana

  This article continues the theme of ISET Economist blog “Decriminalize Marijuana?” written by my colleague Saba Devdariani in June 2015, where he described the philosophical aspects related to marijuana state regulations and medical consequences of its consumption. RECENT CHANGES IN LEGISLATION Three years after the blog was published, regulation of cannabis became the hottest topic of discussion in the social-political life of Georgia. On July 30th 2018, the Constitutional Court de jure legalized personal consumption of marijuana by declaring tha...
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Oct
01

Georgia Becomes a Net Importer of Electricity Even During the Summer Period

  In August 2018, Georgian power plants generated 985 mln. KWh of electricity (a 5% decrease in total generation, compared to the previous year and a 22% decrease with respect to July 2018), while consumption of electricity on the local market was 1,049 mln. kWh (+1% compared to August 2017, and -4% with respect to July 2018). Consumption to exceed generation by 64 mln, which is 6% of total consumption and 7% of the amount generated. As it can be seen in Figure 1, the emergence of a generation-consumption gap was not totally unexpected. Not only it...
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Sep
24

Biosphere Reserve – The Role Model of Regions for Sustainable Development

"And what we're (at National Geographic) doing is a series of journeys to the ethnosphere where we're going to take our audience to places of such cultural wonder that they cannot help but come away dazzled by what they have seen, and hopefully, therefore, embrace gradually, one by one, the central revelation of anthropology: that this world deserves to exist in a diverse way, that we can find a way to live in a truly multicultural, pluralistic world where all of the wisdom of all peoples can contribute to our collective well-being." - Extract from the N...
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