On 19 September, a decision was adopted on SHPP challenged at the convention of small hydropower producers, where disagreement was expressed with the policy run for small hydropower section and its reforms. The decision particularly says,
' • The operation of SHPPs in Armenia is not only underestimated but also it is endangered, which becomes extremely worrying day by day.
• The current water permit system operating in Armenia doesn't comply with the interests of developing small hydropower: it contradicts the development of both small and medium businesses, as well ensuring the ecology in the rivers and their preservation.
• The governmental resolution № 57-N dated on 25 January 2018 and the new methodology of the environmental flow laid down therein doesn't comply with the interests of RA, and its application will lead to disastrous consequences for our country.' The convention proposes,
• To apply to the Armenian Government aimed at developing a new methodology of issuing water use permits to SHPPs together with the investors tending to get rid of previous corrupted schemes and introduction of a qualitatively new system,
• To install water meters in the water intake sections of SHPPs, which will control the environmental flows in the rivers,
• To involve its specialists in the working group established by the Armenian Government on 5 September for the solution of the aforementioned problems and the implementation of relevant projects.
In his interview with EcoLur, 'Renewable Energy Producers’ Association’’ Director Roman Meliqyan protecting the interests of SHPPs gave explanations on this decision: ' The governmental resolution on the determination of the environmental flow N 57-Ն dated on 25 January 2018 says that the environmental flow shall be more by 33 percent than it was in the past. The relevant bodies presented that all operating hydropower stations shall also operate in line with the new standards. To a large extent, this is not legal, as the operating hydropower stations have established their economic structures taking into consideration economic structures taking into consideration the limits of the previous environmental flow, established their economic rationales and made investments. They might have not made any investments if the new standards of the environmental had existed then,' Roman Meliqyan said.
It should be mentioned that in line with the governmental resolution N 57-Ն, the environmental flow is estimated as follows: the average yield of 10 consecutive days with minimum yields in a long-year winter season. Despite the fact that under the governmental resolution the SHPPs were entitled to ensure minimum environmental flow for the river and carry out more environmental flow, even in this case the environmental flow was not preserved. The whole water of the river flowed into the derivation pipeline of the SHPP and the river got dry causing numerous environmental problems.
With the support of the UNDP/GEF in partnership with RA Nature Protection Ministry, EcoLur implemented projects aimed at reforming SHPP sector and found out that the SHPPs manage even the smallest amount of environmental flow through fish passways and they have an opportunity to entirely block the entrance of the fish passways and to direct the water into the pipes.
The data of hydro-economic estimates are out of date, hydrological data are insufficient and SHPP projects are often developed on incorrect hydro-economic estimates.
17:17 September 28, 2018