Energy Policies beyond IEA Countries: Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
Monday, 20 April, 2015

On April 17th, ISET was honored to welcome Her Excellency Ms. Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of International Energy Agency (IEA), a leading international institution in the energy sector. Prior to becoming Executive Director of IEA, Ms. van der Hoeven served as the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and a member of the parliament of the Netherlands.

Ms. van der Hoeven visited school facilities, met with ISET faculty members, and introduced findings of IEA's recent publication "Energy Policies Beyond IEA Countries: Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia" to the broader ISET community (hardcopy of this publication is available in our library). The report analyzes current energy challenges and opportunities in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia.

During her presentation, Ms. van der Hoeven emphasized main regional trends such as significant energy resources, lack of well-elaborated secondary legislation, implementation of challenges, and fully functional domestic energy markets. Later, she gave some specific recommendations for overcoming the challenges and utilizing the opportunities the region has through cooperation and applicable energy strategies.

Ms. Van der Hoeven dedicated part of her presentation specifically to Georgia, highlighting that Georgia is a stable country for transit with enhanced regional interconnections that has the potential for opening the electricity market. She briefly described areas Georgia should focus on. Those are: Development of large hydropower, development of an energy strategy based on evidence, the establishment of energy efficiency governance structure and policies, etc.

International Energy Agency (IEA) is an independent institution that was created in response to the oil crisis of the 1970s. It aims to support analysis and coordination to solve the energy challenges of its 29 member countries (most OECD countries).  The organization focuses on four main directions: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness, and worldwide engagement of non-member counties to solve energy challenges.

ISET would like to thank Ms. van der Hoeven and the entire IEA delegation for visiting ISET and sharing their extremely interesting and insightful findings and observations with the ISET community.