Conference Georgia’s Energy Sector Achievements, Challenges and Outlook

On August 5, 2016 WEG organized a conference Georgia’s Energy Sector Achievements, Challenges and Outlook in Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Tbilisi. An overall goal of the conference was to raise the quality of energy policy debate in pre-election period, to assure more robust policies and effective parliamentary and society control in energy sector. Conference Speakers mentioned, that despite some success in infrastructural projects development, energy management system and parliamentary control is far from international standards and transparency requirements which imposes risks for country’s energy security. According to WEG Director, Murman Margvelashvili: “it is necessary to create a monitoring group from public entities and SCO representatives as well as from parliament members and donor organizations to ensure, that new agreements and amendments in the legislation match the requirements of modern European standards”. Issue of Hydropower development was highlighted by different experts. They suggested to stop the practice of memoranda for HPP construction, as there are 120 agreements signed already and there necessity and transparency is under question. G4G expert presented the examples from international practice, when such constructions caused enormous financial problems for the countries. Another important issue discussed was energy tariffs. Speakers said, that political intervention in tariff is harmful for whole society.  Artificial reduction of tariffs causes the problems regarding social justice and economic development. Energy efficiency and renewable energy development were discussed as well as importance of strategic transit projects. Representatives of ministries, civil society actors, donors, sector specialists and political parties participated in the conference. The workshop was conducted under OSGF project (funded by Netherlands) in cooperation with USAID G4G program.