Electricité de France, France’s state-owned power supplier, has presented to the Georgian State Electrosystem (GSE), the state-owned transmission system operator, a roadmap that analyses the potential for hydropower development from 2020 to 2035, based on national water resources.
EDF and GSE had previously collaborated in the preparation of the country’s first national power generation expansion plan for 2020-2035, which was completed late last year.
The aim of the roadmap is to verify the possibility of predicting hydrology in Georgia, using the Rioni river as a test case. GSE will be able to improve the management of the energy balance and the optimal use of available water resources as a result of the project.
“The objective of this study is for Georgia to acquire the means to improve forecasts of future hydro availability in Georgia, which can inform better programming of production and investment in this strategic sector”, said France’s Ambassador to Georgia, Diégo Colas. “Better information means improved decision-making and public consultation, which are the keys to modern, European and democratic development in Georgia”, he added. “Predicting hydrology will enable hydropower plant operators in Georgia to carry out safe management of reservoirs, to use cascading effectively, and to optimize use of water resources and energy, energy surplus and shortage”.
The hydro management roadmap will define the priority list of actions to evaluate expected river run-off and streamflow better. This includes re-building a local hydrological measurement network, hydrological model simulations based on local and recent datasets, and building a forecast centre.
“The work carried out by EDF and GSE provides a useful assessment and roadmap for improving water resources management in Georgia. The proposed actions will be included in the programme, which is being prepared, with the Georgian Government, to be implemented from 2022. This will have a crucial impact on river monitoring and water management, which is necessary to meet the increasing demand from sectors such as hydropower, irrigation and urban development, in the context of climate change,” said the Director of AFD’s regional agency for the South Caucasus, Raphael Jozan.