The participants of round table of “Discussing Ways to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions under Light of Energy Safety” met in EcoLur Press Club to discuss challenges and opportunities for Armenia under new climate agreement.
In his speech First Deputy Minister of Nature Protection Simon Papyan said the most important way for Armenia’s energy security is energy efficiency which is also will have positive impact for climate change mitigation. “In the energy safety concept of Armenia is given priority to the use, import and production of energy from carriers, which don’t entail greenhouse gas emissions into atmosphere,” outlined Daniel Stepanyan, Head of Renewable Energy Department of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources. The director of E2R2 Fund Tamara Babayan attached much importance to the application of clean technologies. UNIDO Programme Coordinator Anahit Simonyan outlined that innovative business ideas shall be developed. Frunzik Voskanyan, the Project Coordinator of the Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in Armenia, presented attempts seeking to support innovation in the field of energy. Karine Danielyan President of the “Association For Sustainable Development” NGO mentioned that an interdepartmental committee has been established, which is currently coordinating the development of national report; eleven directions have been selected, one of them being energy development and energy efficiency. Karen Chilingaryan President of “Consumer Consultancy Center” NGO spoke about the energy tariffs and highlighted that though Russia reduced the gas price for Armenia, the tariff for consumers remained the same.
Summarizing discussions UNDP Climate Change Programme Coordinator Diana Harutyunyan said, “The third national communication of Armenis assessed the current greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector and made predictions for up to 2025 considering the energy sector strategic documents. The vulnerable sectors of economy under climate change are also assessed, including water resources. In this regard, the vulnerability of hydropower shall be considered in energy strategy. Besides, that there is also risk of availability of water for the nuclear power plant, as well as must be assessed how the increase in temperature will influence the efficiency of thermal power plants. We have another problem, which is rather painful – are the losses in gas transmission system. Methane is second main greenhouse gas according to the GHG inventory. Each ton of methane is equivalent to 21 tons of carbon dioxide, however when if it is burnt, only to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted. The factual losses form gas network for 2012 accounts for 5.6%, which is a significantly high indicator as compared with East Europe. The other problem is with thermal power plants. If we want to attract financial assistance to develop our energy system and at the same time plan to use coal, our economy won't benefit much, but it will turn into a negative sign for attracting 'green' funding”.
The energy efficiency can be achieved as way of protection of consumers' rights through building awareness through labels on appliances and buildings, thus consumers will have clear information. The state shall put in place rules for labeling energy consuming equipment and buildings, as it done for food labels.
It is obvious that energy intensity of GDP depends on the structure of the economy. In parallel with development of industry, which shall ensure stimuli for developing our state, is important that as well as private investors and entrepreneurs will be supported and aware on standards and benefits of energy efficiency. Here both the state and the private sector have role to play. The current electricity and gas tariffs are not promoting energy efficiency, the difference between day and night tariffs has reduced and it doesn't promote use of electricity at night thus cutting demand picks.
The INDC under preparation will reflect the position of the state on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in correlation with national priorities and possibilities, as is the case with energy safety.
The discussions resulted in the following proposals to the government:
To consider challenges under climate change:
· Evaluate vulnerability of water resources for hydropower ,
· Evaluate availability of water resources for the Armenian nuclear power plant,
· Evaluate the impact of global temperature increase on the efficiency of thermal power plants,
· Take measures for decreasing losses in the natural gas supply system,
· Strengthening capacities for developing projects on promoting contemporary low carbon technologies in energy system and seeking assistance under 'green' funds,
· Promote labeling of energy consuming equipment, which will contain information on the energy efficiency of the equipment,
· Introduce energy passportization of buildings making the information on energy efficiency more transparent, which will promote decision-making during purchase of apartments,
· Promote establishing resource efficiency and clean production, which will lead to energy efficiency
· Apply new methodologies for establishing tariffs of natural gas and electricity, which will promote reduction of losses, and will stimulate also energy efficiency on demand side,
· Create conditions for attraction of financial means to promote wide-scale investments into energy efficiency in buildings.
The “EcoLur” Informational NGO is organizing series of events aimed at public involvement and awareness raising targeted to the future climate change policy directions and development of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) of the Republic of Armenia under UN Climate Change Framework Convention (UNFCCC).
The material is prepared by 'EcoLur' Informational NGO under UNDP Climate Change Program, within the framework of ARM-002/2015 Contract. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the United Nations, including UNDP, or the UN Member States.
09:17 May 26, 2015