Cross-border Electricity Exchanges: Bolstering Economic Growth in the South Caucasus and Turkey

The latest Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center issue brief, “Cross-border Electricity Exchanges: Bolstering Economic Growth in the South Caucasus and Turkey,” by Nino Ghvinadze and Laura Linderman, explores opportunities for expanding electricity trade in the South Caucasus and Turkey. This brief has been prepared in the context of the Atlantic Council’s Eurasian Energy Futures Initiative.

pdfDownload PDF

Although South Caucasus states’ energy sectors are already interconnected via pipelines stretching from Azerbaijan to Turkey and from Russia to Armenia, electricity trade across borders is limited. Ghvinadze and Linderman explain the benefits of tapping the vast hydro resources of Georgia and Azerbaijan’s cheap natural gas resources toward investing in large-scale power production for export.

The expansion of cross-border electricity trade will contribute to Georgia’s economic growth and help Turkey meet its rapidly increasing electricity needs. Major preconditions for developing this sector, attracting investors, and maintaining the trust of international partners includes consistently liberalizing energy markets and strengthening legislative frameworks and the independence and professionalism of regulatory agencies in Turkey, Georgia, and Azerbaijan.

Promoting an integrated electricity corridor in the South Caucasus is ambitious and challenging, but can have a positive impact on the energy independence of the region’s countries  and for the prosperity, stability, and security of this strategically important but volatile region.

The Atlantic Council’s Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center fosters dialogue among regional leaders, as well with counterparts from key neighbors and global leaders. Combining in-depth understanding of Eurasia’s history with expertise on politics, economics and energy, the Center provides distinctive research and advice to governments and businesses worldwide. The Center’s collaborative approach aims to catalyze local, regional, and global strategies to address economic growth, and bring about energy development and trade in ways that reinforce economic and political well-being.

Related Experts: Laura Linderman

Image: The Istanbul skyline at night. Image credit: Flickr, Creative Commons.