Georgian PM talks with investors on construction of hydropower plants underway

Georgia: The Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili stated on Monday that the Government is in talks with “a number of investors” over projects regarding the construction of hydropower plants in the country. 

PM also went on to say that the Georgian Government has planned to be a “partial participant” in the implementation of the “large” hydropower plants projects. 

The move comes after the Prime Minister said last week that the Government needed to build as many hydroelectric projects as possible to meet increasing energy demand. According to the country’s premier, the Government will also offer an “appropriate package” to the business sector.

Moreover, electricity production in Georgia declined by 5.9 % in 2020 as compared to the last year and totalled 11,159.8 million kWh. The country’s electricity consumption also decreased in 2020 by 4.8 per cent year-on-year, amounting to 11,479.3 million kWh.

According to the reports, several citizens have protested against the Georgian Government in recent years due to a shortage in power supply. 

Furthermore, Several public protests have taken place in Georgia in recent years in response to agreements made between the Government and private firms for the building of HPPs across the nation, with residents in various areas conducting rallies against plant projects that would disrupt their lives.

During the meeting, alongside this, Garibashvili also emphasised on Georgia’s economic growth, citing that the tourism industry in Georgia has recovered by 80-90 % as compared to the COVID-19 pre-pandemic period.

Earlier this month, Garibashvili said that Georgia’s energy consumption requires the nation to construct as many hydropower plants as possible to deal with the shortages.

Hydropower, often known as hydroelectric power, is a renewable energy source that creates electricity by altering the natural flow of a river or other body of water using a dam or diversion construction.

In 2020, hydropower produced one-sixth of the world’s electricity, which is about 4500 TWh, and it was more than all other renewables combined and also more than nuclear power.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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