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Over the past 5 years Armenia increased the electric power output of small hydropower plants (HPPs) for four times, which is the main achievement in the green energy production, Deputy Minister of Energy and Natural Resources of Armenia, Areg Galstyan, told ArmInfo.
He said that four years ago the small HPPs of Armenia generated 120 mln KW/h of electric power, in 2011 - a bit more than 400 mln KW/h, and in 2012 this index will approach 500 mln KW/h, which will be 8% of the total energy output in the country. "This is a brilliant result and it is the most essential achievement of Armenia in the green energy production sphere for the past few years", said Galstyan.
He pointed out that renewable energy is pollution-free energy, as the small HPPs cause the least damage to the environment. Galstyan thinks the economically demanded and grounded potential for the small HPPs is about 300 mln KW/h for the next few years.
According to Galstyan, Armenia is trying to develop the renewable power generation, and observes all the environmental requirements at the same time. "We word out all our programs with due regard for environmental standards", he said. He also pointed out that the Ministry sees that the HPPs are not built in national parks and sanctuaries.
He said that according to the strategy of the Water Code, it is first of all necessary to supply the communities with drinking and irrigation water, and only after that to use the water for electric power generation. He added that the prime cost of electric power of the small HPPs is comparatively low, though it is higher than the prime cost of the electric power generated by the Nuclear Power Plant.
To note, since last year the maximum admissible capacity for the small HPPs in Armenia has been increased to 30 MW against the former 10 MW. There are over 100 small HPPs in Armenia.