U.S.-Azerbaijan Green Energy Forum
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service Arun Venkataraman, who is visiting Azerbaijan on April 2-4, joined Azerbaijani energy officials at the U.S.-Azerbaijan Green Energy Forum in Baku on April 3. The Forum – a partnership between the Department of State and Azerbaijani Ministry of Energy, Renewable Energy Agency, and AZPROMO –promotes green energy solutions and focuses on green energy strategies and opportunities for the region and provides immense opportunities for U.S. renewable energy companies.
The forum featured nine U.S. businesses seeking to contribute to the development of Azerbaijan’s clean energy ecosystem. Attending companies bring U.S. technical and financial expertise to help Azerbaijan’s goal to reduce economic dependence on oil and gas exports and capitalize on the country’s strong renewable energy potential, including its solar and wind resources. Renewable energy, together with energy efficiency, also offers the most promising low-carbon solution to meet Azerbaijan’s climate targets.
At the forum, Deputy Minister of Energy Elnur Soltanov stated: “the choice of the right time for the development of various energy sources, the succession of far-sighted political decisions, and the decisive steps of the President of Azerbaijan, their complementarity contributed to the energy security not only of ourselves but also of our partners and ensure the smooth transition to green energy.” He provided information about Azerbaijan’s strategic goals and projects in the field of renewable energy as well as opportunities for foreign investment. Deputy Minister Soltanov also said, “These production capacities, which are planned to be put into use gradually by 2040, are way more than our demand, and our potential is also way more than the mentioned capacities to be created.”
Assistant Secretary Venkataraman delivered remarks at the Clean and Green Energy Forum and said: “This forum is important so you can hear directly from U.S. companies interested in green opportunities in Azerbaijan. The Department of Commerce and the U.S. private sector are committed to helping Azerbaijan achieve its clean energy goals.” While noting U.S. commitment towards working with Azerbaijan on green energy sector as well as decarbonization in emissions-intensive sectors, Assistant Secretary Venkataraman stated: “President Biden has committed to take ambitious action to tackle climate change and set the United States on the path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. This Administration has launched a coordinated whole-of-government approach to address climate change.”
In his remarks at the forum, the U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Hugo Guevara said: “This forum represents an important area for growth in our bilateral economic partnership by expanding our energy cooperation and helping to build bridges between U.S. companies and Azerbaijan counterparts to grow our green energy collaboration.” While noting Azerbaijan’s importance in helping bolster European energy security, Chargé Guevara added: “Energy has always played an important part in our economic cooperation and the United States has long supported Azerbaijan’s role as a reliable energy supplier. This forum will help spur the technical and regulatory innovations that will help Azerbaijan take full advantage of its green energy potential.”
Heather Byrnes, U.S. Department of Commerce Regional Senior Commercial Officer for Eurasia, stated: “Our purpose in organizing this Forum is to help Azerbaijani investors develop the country’s green energy capacity, with the support of U.S. technology providers. Oil and gas producing countries across the world are developing green energy projects to decrease carbon emissions. We have just one planet and must work together to control global warming.” Byrnes also noted that the forum would support U.S. companies partnering with the Azerbaijani government and private sector in the years ahead.
During his trip, Assistant Secretary Venkataraman will also participate in bilateral meetings with senior Azerbaijani energy, transportation, and economic officials and discuss opportunities for enhanced trade and investment between the United States and Azerbaijan. Assistant Secretary Venkataraman will also meet with a range of U.S. companies to learn more about their operations, highlight commercial engagements and partnerships, and hear about their experiences within the local business environment.