During the Russia-Ukraine the EU has become a clear example of how substantial reliance on a single country to satisfy energy needs can threaten nations’ economic development, and how challenging the task of achieving energy security is while substantially depending on a single country in key energy products.
During such challenging times, as the Russia-Ukraine conflict escalates daily and threatens the lives of thousands, as well as the wellbeing of everyone around the world, having experienced the horror of war, we Georgians especially feel the pain of the Ukrainians.
In previous articles we have discussed the visible deterioration of Georgia’s energy security, where energy demand keeps increasing and the share of domestic energy sources in overall primary supply (the gross amount consumed by the country over one year) is declining. Reversing this trend requires the country to accelerate the pace that it develops domestic – and mostly renewable – energy generation capacity; ideally in combination with greater efforts to improve energy efficiency.
The International Energy Agency provides a definition of energy security across two dimensions. In a broad sense, energy security is defined as the “uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price,” while short-term energy security denotes that an energy system has the capability to promptly balance any disruption in the supply-demand equilibrium.
The Namakhvani Hydropower Cascade is a system of two plants with a total capacity of 433 MW and a potential yearly generation of 1496 mln. kWh (around 13% of the total generation in 2020). The HPP has been designed for the river Rioni, to be built just 20 kilometers or so from Kutaisi, one of the largest cities in Georgia. The project is operated by the Norwegian Clean Energy Group, with 10% shares, and the Turkish industrial conglomerate, ENKA Insaat ve Sanayi AS, holding 90%.