By Gayane Lazarian

29.06.11 | 14:10

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.