Azerbaijan ' s hydropower, which is currently estimated at 40 billion kW/h, has not yet been sufficiently utilized. However, about three years ago, a programme for the construction of small derivative hydropower facilities was launched. It is intended to use the resources of small mountain rivers that will build over three dozen small hydropower plants in the coming years.
The total water potential of the country ' s six relatively large rivers is 30, 6 billion cubic metres. In particular, the hydropotential of the country ' s main water arteries, Kura and Araz, has been successfully used since the 1940s. For example, a number of Shamkir, Warvarski, Mingachevir GEC cascades have been built on the Kura, and a large hydro station has also been erected on the Araz River in Nakhchivan. However, despite natural opportunities, the current share of the country ' s GEC does not exceed one seventh of the power of the entire energy system, and their electricity production is maintained at 2.7 billion kWh per year. Comparison: total production of TEC and GEC in 2011 was 20 billion kW/h.
The issue of the development of hydropower in the country has again become relevant three years ago, following the decision of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, to establish the State Agency for Alternative and Renewable Sources of Energy. Another directive issued by the Head of State to the country ' s main energy department, the AAO-Azerenergy, was entrusted with the preparation of special programmes for the widespread use of small hydropower plants in the republic. The country ' s leadership is committed to intensifying the construction of small (1-8 MW) and medium (10-40 MW) of GEC and to modernizing existing hydroelectric power stations.