As the world’s energy landscape continues to evolve, gas has taken a prominent role in helping nations achieve energy independence and prosperity. Georgia, which is nestled between Eastern Europe & Western Asia, was not left out of this shift in global energy. Natural gas georgia use has been gaining attention as a result of both its strategic location in the world and rising energy demand.
Natural Gas Reserves and Inports
Georgia is not a natural gas producer. Most of the supply comes from other countries. Georgia’s natural gas has traditionally been supplied by two main countries: Russia, and Azerbaijan. Georgia relies heavily on Gazprom of Russia and SOCAR (the state-owned Azerbaijani oil company) to meet its energy requirements.
Energy Security and Diversification
Georgia’s dependence on foreign natural gas providers has underlined the importance energy security and diversity. Since the early 1990s, Georgia has been working to reduce its dependency on gas from a single supply source. It pursued alternative sources of energy and alternate routes. Georgia gained new access to gas supply and delivery routes with the development of Southern Gas Corridor – a system of pipelines which transports Azerbaijani Gas to Europe via Turkey. The diversification of energy sources increases the security and stability by decreasing risks that come with only relying upon one source.
Georgia’s energy infrastructure has expanded to take advantage of the natural gas it can access. It includes construction, modernization, and expansion of storage and distribution facilities. This will allow for efficient natural gas transportation within Georgia, as well as distribution. It also makes Georgia a hub of energy transit.
Considerations for the Environment
Natural gas may be cleaner to burn than oil or coal but it still poses environmental risks. Hydrogen fracturing (or “fracking”), a part of the extraction process, may have adverse effects on ecosystems or water resources. In addition to methane gas emissions that are potent climate change agents, natural gas production, distribution and transportation can also cause them. Georgia’s desire to utilize natural gas must be balanced with its environmental sustainability.
Natural gas is becoming a controversial topic in Georgia as more and more people are turning to alternative energy sources for combating climate change. Georgia must diversify its energy mix, even though natural gas could be used as a transitional fuel for moving away from the more carbon intensive options. Investments in sustainable energy like wind, hydroelectric and solar will help achieve sustainability long term.