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Eduard Sharmazanov: Samvel Babayan has the right to conduct any activities within the limits of the law

Seyran Ohanyan on Samvel Babayan's return: His heroic deeds are not forgotten

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank launches ACBA Ticket free mobile app aimed at ensuring efficient customer service at branches

Yerevan hosts an exhibition of German artist Stefan Schwarzer's paintings

Deputy Minister: Modern cancer center to open in Armenia by late 2016

Armenian Ombudsman informs CoE Commissioner for Human Rights of atrocities committed by Azerbaijani Armed Forces

Fuel Company of Rosatom TVEL and Global Nuclear Fuel Sign Agreement to License and Supply TVS-K Fuel in U.S.

President Sargsyan and Head of "Russian Railways" discussed modernization of Armenian railway infrastructure

Baku to "blacklist" Bulgarian lawmakers for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh

Optimization goes full speed: Armenian government refused 30 cars over week

Edward Nalbandian: Armenia-Artsakh agreement on mutual military support is being elaborated

Nalbandian responds to Switalski

Samvel Babayan: I am back to Artsakh and it is for the people to decide the rest

NKR Defense Army soldier killed

Komatsu mining equipment presented at Teghout

Situation on Armenian-Azerbaijani border was mostly peaceful overnight

Azerbaijani armed forces resume fire overnight

UCom CEO: Future of telecommunications field is in providing convergent services

Beeline launches an upgraded landline network upgraded with wireless technology and 450 MHz

Armenian reconnoiter: Largely discussed 700-800 ha are neutral zone between dug positions

Vivacell-MTS has replenished range of smartphones offered within "STARTPHONE" tariff plan with 9 new models

Rostelecom Armenia summed up results of the 1st round of annual "Technology for Life -More Opportunities" contest

Military Prosecutor's Office of Armenia investigates information about sale of Armenian Armed Forces' tinned food in Poland

Areximbank-GPB Group sums up results of "8 gifts by March 8" campaign conducted jointly with MasterCard

Transport ministry: Gagik Beglaryan has no bodyguards and he is not implicated in beating of people

Aim of OSCE MG Co-Chairs is to lay groundwork for negotiations that can lead to a comprehensive settlement, Warlick

Central Bank: By 1 April 2016 overdue loans in Armenian banks grew by 22.5% over year

Vladimir Yevseyev: Updated Madrid Principles will not be implemented until the armed conflict is frozen

Mass Media: Bodyguards of Transport Minister detained under case over beating of businessman's son Sergey Abovyan

Stepanakert: The territories the Armenian side lost in April were mostly part of the buffer zone around Nagorno Karabakh

Federica Mogherini says next annual Eastern Partnership Foreign Ministers' meeting will be held in spring of 2017

Seyran Ohanyan has not met with Samvel Babayan

PACE Co-rapporteurs: Those responsible for atrocities in Karabakh conflict zone should be held fully accountable

Expenses of Armenian President's Administration up 10% in 2015

Prime minister: Supply of Russian weaponry to Armenia launched

Serzh Sargsyan and Seyran Ohanyan to discuss Karabakh problem in presidential residence tonight

Two-fold growth of loan restructuring applications registered in VTB Bank (Armenia)

Head of Armament Unit of Armenia's Armed Forces dismissed

Sharmazanov: Genocide of Christians in Ottoman Turkey, IS actions and Azerbaijani aggression have same handwriting

Ex-president of Armenia included in list of candidates for election to the new Board of Directors of JSFC Sistema

Mammadyarov: Status quo in Karabakh conflict may lead to severe military clashes

Trial over case of the cardboard tank that "crashed" into NSS building is still going on

Tatoul Manaseryan: Top power branches have a great number of caterpillars

Штормовой ветер срывал крыши домов и не на шутку напугал жителей Еревана

Armenian President attends ceremony of unveiling of Memorial to Marshal Hamazasp Babajanian

Bostanjyan calls for reducing all expenses having no crucial significance to state

OSCE PA Special Representative for South Caucasus arrives in Armenia

Seyran Ohanyan: Territories lost during April war were part of Artsakh

Armenian Defense Ministry responds to media reports about dismissal of commander of Mataghis regiment

Greek Defense Minister: Nagorno Karabakh conflict should be settled exclusively through peaceful means

Regional

Vahe Davtyan: lternative power engineering should be developed regardless of fluctuations in electric power tariffs

ArmInfo’s interview with Vahe Davtyan, Corresponding Member of Engineering Academy of Armenia, CEO & Founder of Clean Energy NGO

  • by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan

  • Thursday, July 3, 21:27

The Public Services Regulatory Commission of Armenia has already taken a decision to raise the electric power tariffs on 1 August 2014. Is Armenia’s alternative power engineering competent enough to speak of partial replacement of the traditional energy resources by alternative ones?   

Unfortunately, the need to develop alternative power engineering in Armenia is stressed only when the electric power or gas tariffs are raised. I do not think it is a healthy approach. First and foremost, it is necessary to understand that alternative power engineering should be developed regardless of tariff fluctuations. Alternative power engineering is not just a trend. Its development is real investment in the future, especially for the countries that lack their own traditional energy resources. Unfortunately, the excessively politicized energy sector of the country mostly limits the full-fledged establishment of the field. Therefore, I can give a negative answer to your question – no, alternative energy cannot really compete with traditional power engineering in Armenia today. In the meantime, however, one should realize that our country has renewable energy sources and involvement of business in the given sector with the support of the state may give the result that will allow us to speak of competition with the traditional power engineering.

The newly appointed Armenian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Yervand Zakharyan, expressed his desire to familiarize himself with solar and wind power engineering. How do you assess possible establishment of these fields in our country?

First and foremost, I’d like to welcome Mr. Zakaryan’s initiative, as studying the problems of alternative power engineering at the government level offers hope that there will be breakthroughs in the field. Speaking of the alternative energy in Armenia, we mean solar, wind, geothermal and bio-energy. I wish the government were interested in development of all the four sectors, but it is studying the two most popular ones so far. Nevertheless, I think, all in good time. As for the specific assessments, they are more than positive. In the Soviet period of time, they began working in the field of alternative power engineering in 1950s.  It was a scientific research activity mainly in the field of solar energy. And it is quite natural, as the sun hours in Armenia reach 2300-2500. It is for reason that Armenia is called a sunny country. 

Sun is the most popular source of pure and infinite energy. Armenia has big advantages in the field of solar energy i.e. the weather and climate in the biggest part of the country’s territory are mostly favorable due to relatively close location to the tropical zone. The average annual value of the solar energy in Armenia for every 1 sq/m of horizontal area is 1720 kWh per sq/m.  Meanwhile, in Europe this indicator is only 1000 kWh per sq/m. In warm seasons, the duration of sunshine in Armenia is 85% of the annual indicator. In average, the duration of sunshine reaches 60%. These are rather solid indicators to say that there are all the necessary basic preconditions for full-scale development of solar energy sector in our country.

Can you say the same about the wind power engineering?

 Not really. Construction of wind power plants is rather expensive comparing with solar technologies. According to USAID, the cost of a wind power plant with a generating capacity of 1kWh in Armenia is approximately 1,000-1,300 US dollars. To increase the summary capacity to 100 MW by 2020, 100-130 million USD will be needed. Generally, the potential of the wind energy is 10,000 MW.  The promising areas for wind power engineering in Armenia are the Pushkin, Karakhachinsk, Semyonov, Zod and Sisian mountain passes, and the Charentsavan district.  It is noteworthy that Armenian power engineers have certain experience in building wind power plants. Thus, in 2005, the first wing power plant in Armenia with a capacity of 2.6 MW was put into exploitation.  It was built on a 3.5 million dollars grant from the Iranian Government.  The plant is located in the Pushkin mountain pass, Lori region, Armenia, at the height of 2060m above sea level.  The plant is equipped with four wind turbines. The average annual generating capacity is 5 million kWh and the service life is 20 years.  It was the first wind power plant in the South Caucasus.  The main problem hindering development of the given sector is the tariff.  The cost value of the wind power is rather high and the final tariff will hardly be attractive to consumers.  Incidentally, after the rising electric power tariff in Armenia, the final cost of the wind power generation can become competitive.

Does it mean that the rising electricity rate is a good opportunity to start developing the wind power engineering in Armenia?

Sure. Yet 3-4 years ago, the main reason impeding development of the wind power engineering in Armenia was the low cost of electric power. Then the tariff was some 25 drams per kWh.  According to relevant calculations, the sector will become attractive for investors only in case the tariff is at least 40 drams per 1 kWh.  Such tariff would be too high for the population then. Now, starting 1 August the electric power in Armenia will rise by 3.85 drams to 41.85 drams.  Make your own inferences.

How much important it is for the government to involve in the comprehensive development of alternative power engineering in Armenia?

Obviously, to develop alternative energy in Armenia, it is necessary to establish the government-private sector cooperation. Not only technical issues, but also insufficient market regulation impedes the development of alternative  power engineering in Armenia.  The government’s stance in development of such strategically important system as the energy security, including the alternative energy, is of major importance. 

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