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On 13 April 2016, the Minister of Energy of Georgia, Kakha Kaladze, stated: "The first wind power plant which will be built in Georgia will be located near Gori, close to the tunnel. We think that we will finish the project in September-October of this year. The construction aggregate will be delivered in August, the preparatory work has already been launched and the ground has already been laid."

FactCheck

took interest in the Minister of Energy’s statement.

The interest toward renewable energy sources is on the rise throughout the world. The report of the European Wind Energy Association presumes that in the best case scenario, the share of renewable energy for 2030 will constitute 27% of the European Union’s total energy resources. Wind energy is the dominant renewable energy source. China is a leading country in terms of wind power capacity with a total output of 114,763 megawatts and produces 31% of installed wind power worldwide. The United States of America is second with 65,879 megawatts (17.8%) wind power capacity. Of European countries, the most developed in this direction is Germany whose installed wind power constitutes 39,165 megawatts (10.6%). In 2015, Germany outperformed

the UK in terms of installed wind turbine capacity on the off shore (constructed on the continental shelf) annual wind market.

According to the data

of the Ministry of Energy of Georgia, our country has significant potential for wind energy with an annual average capacity estimated to be 4 billion kWh. Active discussions about harnessing wind power in Georgia started in 2013. At that time, the establishment of a new company was announced which would conduct research on wind and solar turbines with a 400 megawatts capacity. To this end, the Ministry of Energy of Georgia signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Aelus Apollo Alto Energy Company. Additionally, in March 2014, the Georgia Energy Development Foundation (GEDF) conducted feasibility studies at potential places for the development of wind energy.

As a result of these studies, several fields were identified for wind turbines. Of these places, those with the best capacities are Mta-Sabueti II (Likhi Range, 600 megawatts), Gori-Kaspi (200 megawatts) and Karavani (200 megawatts).

The start dates for the construction of the wind turbines were changed several times. According to the information of the Ministry of Energy, construction of the Kartli power plant was supposed to start in 2015 after the GEDF finished its research on the technical and economic aspects of the project. However, according to the information of the Ministry of Energy, the work was postponed due to technical details related to the content of the contract.

According to the 2015 report of the Ministry of Energy, the Kartli project, which is going to be the first wind turbine in Georgia, moved to the 2016 construction stage. The Project Manager, Tornike Kazarashvili, stated in his interview with FactCheck

that the work has already started and that roads and platforms have been built. The project’s completion is scheduled to be in September 2016 whilst the turbine’s start date is planned for December 2016.

The installed wind power capacity of the Gori wind power plant will be 20 megawatts. Ten wind turbines will be installed on the territory of the train station with a planned capacity of 2 megawatts. The turbines will be connected with each other through underground lines which will terminate at the Gori 220 kWh power plant. This wind energy development project is being carried out with the assistance of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The total cost is USD 34.3 million. Of this amount, USD 24 million comprises a loan to Georgia from the EBRD.

Apart from the Gori project, pursuant to the order of JSC Calik Georgia Windy (a joint enterprise which was founded on 23 July 2015 by the Turkish Calik Enerji Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and the Georgian JSC Georgia’s Energy Development Foundation), a Turkish company, Enisolar, has been installing 80 metre high meteorological towers in the Shida Kartli region, close to the village of Nigoza, and in the Imereti region, in the Sachkhere municipality. Two meteorological towers will be installed for each project. The company will use these towers for research purposes.

Conclusion

Wind energy is widely used in different countries of the world and its share among total energy resources has been growing. In Georgia, the construction of the first wind power plant, Kartli, has already started with the financial support of the EBRD. The construction aggregate will be delivered in August 2016 with the project’s completion scheduled for September-October 2016. The power plant will be launched in December 2016.

FactCheck will come back to the issue of wind power plant construction in the future as well. At the present moment, we conclude that Kakha Kaladze’s statement is TRUE.