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100% solar energy for monasteries of Georgia

A Georgian NGO “Gamarjoba” which is a member of the CLEEN network started together with Сlimate Action Network a project „100% renewable energy to monasteries of Georgia”. The goal of the project is to elaborate a program that will solve the problem of energy supply of two monasteries, a male, and a female, which are located in remote mountainous regions of Georgia.

“Georgia is a mountainous country and here are many remote communities like villages and monasteries. Many of them either don’t have access to power, gas and water supply or don’t have enough money to pay for it. Georgian society treats the Georgian Church with huge respect. „Solar monasteries“ may give impetus for the development of renewable energy here”, says Lasha Tsiturishvili, an activist of “Gamarjoba”.

There are about 250-280 sunny days or 6,000-6,780 hours of the sun per year in the most of the Georgian regions. The overall annual capacity of solar power in Georgia is about 108 MW which is 34,000 tons of oil equivalent.

Because of the geographic location, Georgia is very promising in terms of use of energy of the sun, says Kote Kobahidze, director of the company „Solar Energy“. “Renewable energy is not only business for us. First of all, it means independent in terms of energy and livable future for people of Georgia“, notes Mr. Kohabidze

Costs of renewables have been sinking. Renewable energy is becoming cost-competitive with fossil fuels. “Use of renewable energy means multiple benefits for Georgia. These are the reduction of CO2 emissions, the solution of deforestation problem, struggle against poverty, economic development, the participation of citizens in energy policy shaping, and reduction of energy dependence”, says Olga Podosenova, head of the “Gamarjoba”. “Georgia is a developing country, and here the stereotype about insanely expensive renewable energy is still wide-spread. We want to dispel various myths about renewables and to show that they are getting affordable, they really function and make life easier”, explains Ms. Podosenova.

“It is a brilliant idea which is important not only in terms of energy independence but also in terms of climate change mitigation. Transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050 is the crucial condition for the rescue of the climate on our planet,” says Irina Stavchuk, coordinator of the regional Climate Action Network Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (CAN-EECCA).

At the moment, activists of Gamarjoba together with company “Solar Energy” are elaborating the scope statement for the optimization of the energy consumption and calculating needs for several monasteries in mountainous regions of Georgia.

Additional information about team:

NGO Gamarjoba – https://www.facebook.com/Gamarjoba2014Georgia/

Climate Action Network- http://www.climatenetwork.org/

CLEEN — http://cleenet.org

Solar Energy — www.solar.ge

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