Demur Chomakhidze, D.Sc. (Econ.), professor, scientific consultant for the Georgian National Energy Regulatory Commission (Tbilisi, Georgia)

This article examines Georgias natural fuel and energy resources (FER), both conventional (hydropower, oil, gas, coal) and non-conventional (alternative). Special attention is paid to hydropower and to alternative energy sources. The author assesses the current level of their development in the republic.

Overview of Natural Energy Resources and Their Development

Energy resources have a special place among natural resources. Their great importance is primarily due to the fact that these resources are the starting point for any kind of production; they determine the pace and scale of the development of all sectors of the economy and humanity as a whole.

Generally speaking, Georgia is not very rich in FER, but almost all kinds of these resources are found in its territory in greater or lesser amounts. Despite its limited reserves of fossil fuel, the republic cannot be regarded as a region poor in energy resources in general, because its rivers hold huge amounts of hydropower, largely compensating for the fuel shortage in the country. Another reason is that Georgia is rich in alternative energy sources (sun, thermal waters, wind, etc.).

An approximate structure of the countrys conventional FER is presented in Fig. 1, which shows that hydropower makes up the main part of both potential (theoretical) resources and proven (established balance) reserves (64.1% and 80.8%, respectively). Altogether, potential resources add up to

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