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One of protesters on Baghramyan Avenue sets himself to fire

Police cordon off Baghramyan Avenue, as protesters approach

Founding Parliament initiative to President Sargsyan: “Leave, otherwise you will face Ceausescu’s fate”

Demonstrators marching from Liberty Sqaure towards Republic Square

European Union concerned over latest developments in Yerevan

Activist Andrias Ghukasyan severely beaten up in detention facility

Richard Mills warns that Armenian law-enforcement officials responsible for human rights abuses could be sanctioned by the U.S. government

Albert Baghdasaryan: There is information that law enforcers have launched operation for neutralizing Daredevils of Sasoun

Sefilyan urged Armenian nation to become a human shield between police and territory of seized Police Station

Gunshots are heard and impact munitions used near seized Police station

Political forces of Armenia keep condemning last night's events, while Republican Party still silent

Police say police officer killed by sniper from area of seized police compound

Another member of Heritage Party Hovsep Khurshudyan detained

One of the medics held "hostage" by "Daredevils of Sasoun" group left the seized Police Patrol Service Regiment on July 29

U.S. Embassy urges Armenian government to take immediate steps to ensure violations of Armenians' constitutional and human rights do not recur

Armenian Police make statement: Leaders of protest action of July 29-30 resorted to sabotage and attacks

National Security Service of Armenia sets deadline for "Daredevils of Sasoun" to surrender: Otherwise they will be shooting at sight

More and more public and political organizations condemn past night's events in Yerevan

Prosecutor General's Office of Armenia initiates criminal case on fact of violence against journalists overnight into July 30 in Yerevan

Criminal charges brought against Heritage Party vice chairman Armen Martirosyan and activist Andrias Ghukasyan

EBRD to subscribe for 33,500,000 ordinary shares of Lydian International Limited at a price of C$11.39 Million

Jailed oppositionist Jirayr Sefilyan makes statement on recent events in Yerevan

Latest data from Healthcare Ministry: 73 people were hospitalized as a result of last night's events in Yerevan

Armenia's political forces and NGOs have already condemned last night's events in Yerevan

Armenia's Ombudsman: Police hinders detainees from meeting their lawyers

Deputy Chairman of Heritage Party Armen Martirosyan detained

Secretary General of CoE is concerned over events in Yerevan

According to Stratfor there is link between seizure of Police building in Armenia and negotiations over Nagorno-Karabakh settlement

Soldier of NKR Defense Army wounded

Oxfam jointly with EDRC summed up monitoring results of social service for lonely elderly programs

US Embassy to Armenia calls for immediate, safe, and unconditional release of medical personnel

Situation in Yerevan is relatively calm after clashes overnight

Supporters of Daredevils of Sasoun marching from Liberty Square to Khorenatsi Street

Protest of supporters of Daredevils of Sasoun kicks off on Liberty Square

Healthcare Ministry: Doctors, who are on territory of seized building, applied first aid to injured Araik Khandoyan

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office: Police has detained activists Albert Baghdasaryan and Hasmik Yevoyan

Armenian Police: Wounded members of Daredevils of Sasoun Artur Melkonyan and Armen Lambaryan are hospitalized

Beeline and Classical Music Development Foundation sup up annual results of cooperation

Armenian NSS informs about detecting new supporters of "Daredevils of Sasoun" group

Armenian Police: Two other members of Daredevils of Sasoun are wounded in firefight on the territory of the seized building

"Oxfam" Office in Armenia revealed certain omissions in "In-home social services for lonely elderly" program

Armenia's Police: Firefighting occurred on territory of Police Patrol Service Regiment-Araik Khandoyan is wounded

Armenian Ombudsman urges state bodies and public figures to activate efforts for eliminating any forms of human rights violations

VTB Bank (Armenia) is the first on Armenian market to launch money transfers via TelCell system

Journalist Levon Barseghyan to be released

Son of Arshak Sadoyan, member of Public Council, arrested over violence against police officer

Lawyer: Health condition of wounded Pavel Manukyan deteriorates, as he refuses food and medicines

Avaz Hasanov: Karabakh conflict can be settled by common consent, if Russia is left out of it

Director of Emergency Aid CJSC says wounds of members of "Daredevils of Sasoun" in territory of seized police regiment not heavy

Family of Monte Melkonyan addresses Serzh Sargsyan over arrest of Alek Yenigomshyan

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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