The EU-funded Civil society Local Energy Efficient Network (CLEEN) has set up the “100% renewable energy to monasteries of Georgia” project together with the Сlimate Action Network. The goal of the project is to solve the problem of supplying energy to two monasteries which are located in remote mountainous regions of Georgia.
“Georgia is a mountainous country and here [there] 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 the NGO “Gamarjoba”, which is a member of the CLEEN network.
There are around 250-280 sunny days or 6,000-6,780 hours of sunlight per year in most Georgian regions. The overall annual capacity of solar power in Georgia is about 108 MW, which is equivalent to 34,000 tonnes of oil.
“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 rescuing the climate of our planet,” says Irina Stavchuk, coordinator of the regional Climate Action Network Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia.
Civil society activists are putting together the scope statement for the optimisation of energy consumption and calculating needs for several monasteries in mountainous regions of Georgia.