Czech solar panels ensure electricity supply in the Tusheti protected areas
Restricted electricity supplies were one of the major issues of Georgia after the fall of the USSR. The Czech Development Agency has been operating in the Tusheti protected areas in the north of Georgia since 2013. The project Electrification of Remote Areas in the Tusheti Region aims primarily to protect nature and landscape but in the broader context it also aims to contribute to the economic development through development of sustainable tourism. Introducing electricity in the region is a critical success factor.
Nowadays, the solar panels make the life of 200 Tusheti households by far easier, including the 6 public institutions being equally supplied with electricity. The current condition enables development of the hospitality industry, and since then the picturesque region attracts more tourists. The solar panels correspond with the character of the landscape and the electrical wires do not spoil the stunning views of the beautiful nature. The implementation of solar panels has also prevented the outmigration of the local population to urban areas, which had been a dominant phenomenon in an area that is completely cut off the rest of the country in winter season. There is one more reason for the Tushetis to stay in the region if not at least during summer, and that is the opportunity to enhance their income with tourism related economic activities
The project is in line with the incentive of the Georgian government to strengthen the country’s economy with export and foreign investments mainly via energy industry, infrastructure, agriculture but also the above-mentioned tourism. Georgia has been promoted as a tourist destination by the Georgian government already in the past, and the country’s earnings from tourism have increased by 56 % in 2012. The government’s efforts aimed at regional development with the objective of improving local infrastructure and promoting sustainable tourism still continue and are supported with projects run by the Czech Development Agency and other partners.
More information about protected areas management plans and the development project of the Czech Development Agency are available in Czech language.