Primary energy supplies in the three countries vary according to their access to fossil fuels and water resources.16 Georgia relies on imported gas and oil, but also have renewable energy such as hydropower for electricity and heating, while Azerbaijan17 relies mainly on its gas and oil resources. Armenia18 uses a mix of imported gas resources, nuclear energy and national water resources (IEA 2013). As such, the vulnerability of the energy sector to climate change varies depends on the main energy source in each country. Hydropower is by far the most vulnerable energy source due to its dependency on stable water supplies that are likely to be affected by changes in precipitation patterns, reduced glacial water, and higher evaporation due to warmer temperatures. Water resources are predicted to decline across the region. Hydropower in Georgia is, for example, centred on glacier-fed rivers originating in the Greater Caucasus Mountains, such as the Inguri and Rioni River. Glacial runoff of these rivers is likely to be reduced by 13 per cent by 2100 due to increased melting consequently reducing the potential of hydropower (MoENRP 2015). The flow of three trans-boundary river basins also used for hydropower – Alazani (Gamik), Khrami-Debed and Aghstev basins – is likely to decline due to declining precipitation and increased temperatures by the end of the century (UNDP 2011). Reduced water availability and increasing temperatures may also have adverse effects on thermal and nuclear power that need water for cooling (WB 2009).
From collection: Outlook on Climate Change Adaptation in the South Caucasus Mountains