• English

Pilot application of strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for the National Strategy of Azerbaijan on the Use of Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources 2015-2020 

The pilot strategic environmental assessment (hereinafter also ‘pilot SEA’) in Azerbaijan has been conducted within the second phase of the SEA/EIA activities implemented in the framework of the EU funded programme ‘Greening Economies in the Eastern Neighbourhood’ (EaP GREEN), which aims to build national capacities in practical application of SEA at the national level.

The objective of the pilot SEA was to assist the Government of Azerbaijan in:

  • Testing and demonstrating opportunities of practical application of the SEA procedure outlined by the draft law of Azerbaijan on Environmental Impact Assessment;
  • Building national institutional capacities and expertise to conduct SEA;
  • Providing recommendations for environmental optimisation and modifications of the State Strategy on Alternative and Renewable Energy Resources Use in Azerbaijan for 2015 – 2020; and
  • Developing recommendations for improvement of national legislative and institutional frameworks on SEA in the country.

A fact-finding missions to Azerbaijan was organized in June 2014 in order to identify the plan or programme to be a subject of pilot SEA application. Following the findings from the mission and further discussions with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, the National Strategy of Azerbaijan on the Use of Alternative and Renewable Energy Sources 2015 – 2020 (also the ‘Strategy’) was selected for SEA pilot application. 

The national partners for the implementation of the pilot project were:

  • Azerbaijan Republic State Agency on Alternative and Renewable Energy Resources Use
  • Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources; and
  • Azerbaijan Branch office of Regional Environment Centre for Caucasus

The SEA pilot started in March 2015 with the initial training workshop on scoping and baseline analysis. The draft overview of the key environmental and health issues related to the Strategy was prepared in April 2015 and presented and discussed at the scoping consultation meeting in May 2015, which was organized back-to-back the training workshop on impacts assessment. The scoping report was elaborated during June – July 2015 followed by further works on impacts assessment and mitigation measures in August – September 2015 (including workshop on these aspects in August 27 – 29, 2015). The draft SEA report (the version in Azerbaijani language can be downloaded here) was prepared in November – December 2015 and the final public consultation workshop on the draft Strategy and the draft SEA report was organized on December 9, 2015. Considering the preliminary findings, it can be concluded that the Strategy can lead to, for instance, following:

  • It can reduce emissions of GHG as well as emissions to the air;
  • There are risks of likely adverse effects on biodiversity (especially from wind and hydropower development), which can be mitigated or avoided by careful selection of the sites for further development of renewable energy resources; and
  • Implementation of the Strategy can enhance the livelihood of the inhabitants especially in rural areas by securing energy supply.

    

For more pictures from the final public consultation workshop, please access the following link.

Based on the comments received, the SEA report was finalized in September 2016 and together with the Strategy will be submitted to the final administrative procedure (expected to be carried out in December 2016). The results of the pilot project were disseminated during the 7th International Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development (Baku, 21 October 2016). A short summary of the SEA pilot can be found in English and Russian language.