The Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund (R2E2) has received a grant of US $ 40 million form Climate Investment Fund. As R2E2 Fund Director Tamara Babayan said in her interview with EcoLur, these funds will be directed to develop solar energy and geothermal energy and the use of solar heaters and thermal pumps in Armenia.
EcoLur: How do you evaluate the policy run by the government on developing renewable energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
Tamara Babayan: Armenia is rather leading both among the regional and post-Soviet countries, as we started thinking of using renewable energy resources long ago. We have a national program, which was adopted in 2007, different strategic and legislative documents, which state this field is a priority in Armenia. There are objective circumstances for not developing solar, wind and geothermal energy in Armenia. More market available technologies have developed such as HPPs.
EcoLur: What are the commitments of Armenia undertaken in regard with reducing greenhouse gas emissions in energy field?
Tamara Babayan: Armenia doesn’t have much to reduce. If our country had large plants for producing electricity from coal or fuel, naturally their reduction would lead to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But the energy system of Armenia is rather clean.
We have a more important task to do - to increase energy safety and independence taking into consideration that even one third of the gas or uranium for the nuclear power plant are imported.
EcoLur: The Fund has received a grant from the Climate Investment Fund? What kind of program is it and when will it be implemented? To what extent will it promote the reduction of emissions?
Tamara Babayan: The Climate Investment Fund has approved the program submitted by Armenia in the frames of expanding renewable energy program and allotted US $40 million, which will be directed to expanding renewable energy. The program is implemented through the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The program has three main components.
- geothermal energy development, which is being implemented for the first time in Armenia after performing drillings to understand the availability of such resource and further construction of a plant on the same spot.
- the development of solar energy by constructing more industrial-scale solar power plants
- the use of solar heaters and thermal pumps, which will be carried out through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
EcoLur: Are there risks in the program and whether these risks are assessed?
Tamara Babayan: Certainly there are risks. The first risk of geothermal energy is drillings and that the resource may not have the sufficient temperature we expect. In case of solar programs we have many opportunities to develop this field and to create more working places, but on the other hand this program bears risks, as we may not have a sufficient number of professionals to ensure installments in the set timeframes.
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.
12:44 May 13, 2015