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Final Conference on EU Energy Project held in Georgia

Challenges in the Energy Sector of Georgia and Sustainable Development highlighted in the final conference of the project ‘Switch to Sun – Live in Comfort’

09.11.2014 |

WECF partner The Greens Movement of Georgia / Friends of the Earth – Georgia, WECF and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung have organized the international conference “Challenges in the Energy Sector of Georgia and Sustainable Development” on the 30th September 2014. It was the final conference of the joint project ‘Switch to Sun – Live in Comfort’.
The goal of the conference was to assess the problems of the Georgian energy sector and promotion of energy efficient technologies and raising share of renewable energy sources in energy balance of the country according to the principles of sustainable development. The conference summarized the work done by a group of experts, who prepared reviews, conclusions and recommendations regarding above issues and also the work done by WECF and the Georgian organizations Greens Movement, RCDA, Akhaltsikhe and SEMA in the project ‘Switch to Sun – Live in Comfort’ as a best practice and a way forward for Georgia.

The conference presenters have stressed that Georgia has great potential of renewable energy sources (hydro, solar, wind, geothermal) but only a minor part of them is utilized at the moment. Furthermore, in Georgia there are enormous losses of energy during its production and distribution. Additionally, at the consumption level the scale of energy efficiency is extremely low. All this pose serious problems to the Georgian economy due to the fact that about 60% of the consumed energy in Georgia is being imported from different countries.
It was also stressed that according to the different international agreements Georgia has the obligation to develop renewable energy sources and promote introduction of energy efficient technologies and solutions. Therefore, there is urgent need from governmental side to introduce effective measures for implementation of these obligations. Anna Samwel from WECF presented the positive results of the project “Switch to sun – live in comfort” as an example how to foster the implementation and capacity building for solar energy in Georgia. Nino Gamisonia from the Georgian WECF partner organization RCDA gave an insight into the different situation of women and men in regard to energy access in Georgia and presented results from her study in regard to women´s access to energy – challenges and recommendations. Their presentations can be downloaded here and here
The conference participants have shown great interest in the topics and conducted lively discussions. By the end of the conference a draft text of the declaration was distributed. After receiving feedback from participating organizations and experts, a final version of this declaration will be delivered to the appropriate governmental structures.
The conference was attended by the representative of EU Delegation to Georgia, Ministry of Energety, Ministry of Environment, Tbilisi City Hall, NGOs, Diplomatic Missions and international organizations, Experts, the Head of Environmental Committee of the Parliament of Georgia – Mr. GiaTsagareishvili, and the member of Committee and Head of the Greens Party of Georgia – Mr. GiaGachechiladze.
The conference was organized by the NGO “Greens Movement of Georgia / Friends of the Earth – Georgia” and Union “Women in Europe for a Common Future” with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the European Commission. Conference was organized in Sheraton Metekhi Palace hotel, Tbilisi.

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