Biofuelling Sustainable Development in Georgia

Oct 23, 2017

Photo: Vladimer Valishvili/UNDP

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) are completing a four-year initiative to promote the production and use of biomass in Georgia.

On October 23, 2017, representatives of the Georgian Government, biomass producer companies, civil society and international organizations got together to discuss the results of a four-year work and next steps needed to make Georgia’s municipal sector less dependent on fossil fuels and more open to renewable energy.

“70 percent of rural households in Georgia still rely on firewood and illegal tree-cutting for heating.  Renewable energy resources, such as biomass, will save Georgia’s forests while creating more opportunities for sustainable local production and employment,” Shombi Sharp, Deputy Head of UNDP in Georgia, said.

Ekaterina Grigalava, Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection of Georgia, stressed the importance of cooperation between the state and private sector for untapping Georgia’s renewable energy potential.

„With good policies and proactive business approaches, Georgia will achieve tremendous success in producing and utilising renewable energy,“ she said.

The biomass support programme was launched in 2013 with the total budget of over USD 1 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP. The programme has assisted Georgia in developing its first Biomass Strategy and Action Plan, and in establishing the Association of Biomass Producers.

Three pilot biomass plants opened in Tbilisi, Manavi and Akhmeta, and more than 2 thousand tonnes of briquettes have been produced since 2016.

UNDP and GEF also helped to assess Georgia’s needs and potential to produce biomass, and train biomass producers and users across the country.

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