Uninterrupted functioning of high-tech corridors “unlikely” without energy development - deputy economy minister

Romeo Mikautadze, the deputy minister of economy and sustainable development of Georgia, on Thursday addressed the international digital connectivity summit hosted in Tbilisi. Photo: economy ministry press office 

Agenda.ge, 15 Sep 2022 - 11:32, Tbilisi,Georgia

Romeo Mikautadze, the deputy minister of economy and sustainable development of Georgia, on Wednesday said uninterrupted functioning of high-tech corridors was unlikely without energy development, in comments on Georgia’s prospects to perform as a regional data exchange hub. 

Addressing the international digital connectivity summit, hosted in Tbilisi for the first time, on Wednesday, the deputy minister said new technologies required additional electricity and sustainable transmission infrastructure.

Generation and transmission of electricity is the main artery of any country's economy and, together with transport and communication systems, determines its efficiency", Mikautadze said, noting that security and stability of the energy system depended on diversification of energy sources and transmission reliability. 

Pointing to the “key challenge” for energy policy makers, the official said it was to maximise benefits for the energy system and minimise negative impacts.

Delegates from  Europe, Central Asia, South Caucasus and China attended the summit in Tbilisi. Photo: ministry of economy press office.

Stressing that the demand for electricity and new generation facilities were growing in Georgia year-on-year, Mikautadze noted a number of new facilities had been added to the country’s energy system over the past decade, including 55 hydroelectric power stations - which he said were “much more efficient than [previously] existing ones” - two  thermal power stations and one wind power station. 

This year we have signed 61 contracts worth $704 with investors, which will potentially add 1.6 billion kWh to local generation annually. The first steps are being taken in Georgia for the development of green hydrogen production. Interest in solar and wind energy is also growing", he said.

Speaking about the Black Sea underwater transmission line project - an electric and optical fiber cable that will connect Georgia and Romania - the deputy minister said the project was “viable and will bring significant economic benefits not only to Georgia, but also to the countries of the South Caucasus, Romania and states of south-eastern Europe”. 

The ongoing summit in Tbilisi has been organised by the ministry of economy and sustainable development, the country’s communications commission and the World Bank, and is focused around the development of interregional digital corridors.

Attended by the delegates from  Europe, Central Asia, South Caucasus and China, the summit is expected to close with the adoption of a joint declaration.