ISET

ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Dec
30

Food Prices are on Fire

In November 2019, prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages, as measured by the Food Price Index (FPI), drastically increased by 13.4% compared to November 2018 and contributed 4.02 percentage points to the change in the total Consumer Price Index (CPI). In recent months, annual food inflation marked at its highest level since August 2011 (Figure 1).1 Figure 1: Annual Food Price Inflation (January 2010-November 2019) Prices increased for all sub-categories of food and non-alcoholic beverages. The largest price increases were observed for fruits and gr...
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Nov
08

Georgian Energy Security: Reflecting on the September Power Market Data

After facing a generation deficit during the month of August, Georgia continued to experience a decrease in power generation. In September 2019, generation decreased by 3% compared to September 2018 and by 19% compared to August 2019. Georgian power plants generated 821 mln kWh of electricity while consumption of electricity in the local market was 972 mln kWh. Compared to August, electricity consumption decreased by 12%. Even though consumption decreased substantially during the month of September (at least partially due to lower demand for air conditio...
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Oct
11

The Warning Bells are Ringing: A Difficult Summer Season for the Georgian Electricity Market

Historically, the main concern in monitoring the Georgian electricity market derives from the negative generation-consumption gap arising in the winter season. However, persistent electricity deficits over ten months between August 2018 and August 2019 suggest that the number of months characterized by a negative generation-consumption gap might be on the rise. Looking at Figure 1 below, generation can only clearly be seen to exceed consumption twice during the past 12 months, in May and June. This year has been the first time that Georgia has faced an e...
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May
31

A Persistent Negative Generation-Consumption Gap, a Puzzle to Be Explored

Looking at consumption and generation trends, it is evident that since August 2018 consumption typically exceeded generation. The negative generation-consumption gap also remained throughout April, amounting to 45 mln. kWh, with a total power generation of 966 mln. kWh and a consumption of 1,012 mln. kWh. Yet why has the generation-consumption gap remained negative since August 2018? Should we also expect the negative gap to persist over the following months? Figure 1. Generation-Consumption Gap A negative generation-consumption gap in April is a relati...
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May
03

What Can Be Learned from the Experiences of the Khadori 3 HPP Project?

News of the conflicts between the local population and the construction company involved in the construction of a small HPP in the Pankisi valley (Khadori 3) has recently made it into the headlines. Khadori is a small HPP with an installed capacity of 5.4 MW and an estimated annual generation of 27.5 mln. kWh. Construction of the Khadori 3 HPP started on 21 April, however, the local population resisted the project, and consequently its company involved law enforcement officials to ensure its secure implementation. This further increased tensions between ...
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Mar
04

Enguri and Vardnili Hydropower Plants (HPPs) and Abkhazian Demand. A Difficult (and Costly) Puzzle for Georgia

Winter has always been a problem for the Georgian electricity system. Even though Georgia has plenty of hydropower, during this season several HPPs — seasonal and small — either stop or substantially reduce electricity generation. In this season, a significant share of hydropower generation comes from two large-scale state-owned pumped-storage HPPs: Enguri and Vardnili. However, exactly when the generation-consumption gap is the largest, most of the electricity produced is used to satisfy the consumption of the Abkhazia region, which on a yearly basis co...
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