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Untapped Resource: Specialists Call Renewable Energy Way To Go For A

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  • Untapped Resource: Specialists Call Renewable Energy Way To Go For A

    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.