Untapped resource: Specialists call renewable energy way to go for Armenia

Untapped resource: Specialists call renewable energy way to go for Armenia

Photolure

Arayik Marjanyan (left), Tamara Babayan

Using the vast resources of renewable energy that Armenia has will in the future enable the country to satisfy its electricity demand by up to 30 percent, according to specialists.

“An effective use of renewable energy resources has become an urgent matter in our country that lacks natural fuel resources. The use of renewable energy means the country’s energy security, as well as a considerable rise in the degree of its energy independence,” says Tamara Babayan, director of the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Foundation of Armenia.

Presenting the work done in recent years and the results of studies, Babayan says: “Who can say how much thermal energy is needed for the republic? There is no such statistics. Nevertheless, the highest threshold set by us to be achieved in 2020 is very lower compared to Armenia’s technical potential and is quite realizable. This is not a guess, we are realistic.”

The project being implemented by the Foundation has been funded by the World Bank and the government of Armenia since 2006.

“The package of the program actually consists of 20 small projects in different fields of renewable energy, such as small hydropower, hydro-accumulation stations, bioethanol production, geothermal and solar energy. As part of the projects, in 2007-2010, 26 small hydropower plants were constructed, of which 24 are already in use,” says Foundation Project Manager Arayik Marjanyan.

In the near future there are plans to organize meetings with structures concerned as well as with potential investors in different provinces in order to present the potential of renewable energy in particular areas.

The Foundation has developed two financing mechanisms for energy efficiency-heating and renewable energy projects. The renewable energy financing package consists of three sources of funding: the Foundation itself (U.S. $5 million), the EBRD (U.S. $7 million) and the Cascade Credit Holding (U.S. $3 million). The legal successor of the latter is Ameriabank, which is responsible for the entire financial package.