What is the vision of energy development in Armenia, what programs are envisaged in "Strategic Plan for Development of Energy Sector in Armenia (until 2040)", what does this program have in common with the implementation of the requirements of Paris Agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change?
Vahan Sargsyan, Director Energy Strategy Center (ESC) of “Scientific Research Institute of Energy” CJSC, addressed these issues during the expert round table "Energy Development in Armenia under the Paris Agreement" organized on February 26 at EcoLur Press Club.
Presenting the main priorities for the development of energy sector, Vahan Sargsyan emphasized the maximum use of the potential of renewable energy, maximum realization of the energy-saving potential, the lifetime extension of the second power unit of Armenian Nuclear Power Plant (ANPP), the gradual development of the electricity market, liberalization, North-South transit corridor construction program, which includes Armenia-Iran and Armenia-Georgia power transmission lines and infrastructures.
This project will grant an opportunity for Armenia to bridge integration with more global energy markets, as well as to take advantage of trade opportunities, primarily with Iran and Georgia.
"The term of modernization and operation of the second power unit of the ANPP has been extended till 2026. Then, after additional studies, that period will be extended till 2036. After that, a question will be raised about the construction of a new power unit in the area,” he said.
"The construction of 55-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant "Masrik-1" must be accomplished. It is planned to implement programs for the construction of 5 photovoltaic solar stations with a capacity of about 120 MW. We have two governmentally-approved decision to build "Ayg-1" and "Ayg-2" stations each with a capacity of 200 MW, the development of up to 5 MW stations with a total installed capacity of 315 MW.
It is planned to increase the total installed capacity of autonomous solar power stations from 40 MW to 100 MW," Vahan Sargsyan said.
The speaker noted that the Strategic Plan envisages increasing the total installed capacity of small HPPs from 380 MW to 430 MW. "The potential for the construction of small hydropower plants is mainly considered to be exhausted. The strategy includes only the construction of SHPPs for which a construction license has been issued," he said.
According to Vahan Sargsyan, the construction of small wind power plants with a capacity of up to 500 MW is envisaged only in case of competitive tariff proposals.
Scenarios for reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the expense of nuclear and renewable energy
"With the support of USAID, “Tetra Tech” Company has implemented a program that has developed two scenarios for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the energy sector. According to the first one, the total emission limit of 127 Mt was targeted till 2036. Research has shown that in order to achieve this figure at the lowest cost, it is necessary to develop the full potential of renewable energy, to build an additional nuclear power plant of 300 MW.
According to the second scenario, in case of ensuring the same amount of emissions by 2030, in addition to the previous one, it will be necessary to build an additional 1 unit of 300 MW atomic unit (total 600 MW), which will allow to sell those emissions or use them additionally in the future. I must say that the second scenario, of course, is not feasible, because it will not be possible to build 2 new nuclear power units until 2030. It will take at least 15 years.
The calculations of both scenarios showed that the only way to achieve this goal with the exception of wind farms is to build a nuclear power plant.
Thermal Power Plants
According to the Strategic Plan, as of July 1, 2020, the thermal power plants operate in the following capacities: HrazTPP - 410 MW, Hrazdan 5th power unit - 467 MW, the first power unit of Yerevan YCCPP - 228.6 MW. Due to low efficiency, Hrazdan TPP is planned to be decommissioned after the commissioning of Iran-Armenia 400 kW power transmission line and the newly constructed Yerevan Second CCPP power unit.
High Voltage Transmission Network and Electricity Distribution Network Development
According to Vahan Sargsyan, reconstruction of 220 kW and 110 kW substations is envisaged for the development of the high-voltage power transmission network, construction of new 400 kW interstate power transmission lines and substations, implementation of the 2nd stage of SCADA communication and automation system.
Implementation of the general investment program of the electric networks of Armenia is envisaged for the development of the electricity distribution network.
Regional Energy Cooperation
"Regional energy cooperation plays an important role in the development of the sector. On the one hand, it is the establishment of a common energy market of the Eurasian Economic Union, on the other hand, meeting the requirements within the framework of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive Extended Partnership Agreement. The latter is aimed at improving the normative base. Eventually, the construction of the Armenia-Iran-Armenia-Georgia energy bridge will lead to an increase in the role of the Armenian energy system in the development of cooperation with regional countries," he said.
"Energy saving is a serious problem in Armenia, which is considered the internal energy resource of the country. The government sees the organization of energy saving as a scientific, productive, technical-economic activity aimed at reducing the specific cost of energy resources. This will save resources, reduce imports, increase the level of energy independence. The policy pursued by the Government of the Republic of Armenia is to promote energy saving in all sectors of the economy.
Digital energy was also used in the strategy. "It is very urgent, because with the large-scale investment of solar and wind stations, the system will be forced to use digital energy. If the energy sector is not digitalized, we will experience serious problems," Vahan Sargsyan said.
"The Armenian government will continue to support the further development of scientific institutions, to strengthen their direct ties with companies operating in the field, to expand international cooperation, and to have an energy sector equipped with modern scientific solutions," he said. Summing up his speech on the strategy, Vahan Sargsyan said:
Until 2040 Armenia's energy system will have the following description:
- Self-sufficient, high-reliability export-oriented, modern technological equipment, modern infrastructure, electricity system with an annual output of about 12 billion kWh;
- Regional power hub, power systems of neighboring countries, a large crossroads connecting the energetic systems of neighboring countries and the common electricity market of the Eurasian Economic Union;
- Liberalized electricity market based on the best international models;
- Reasonable use in accordance with all environmental standards, ensuring the maximum possible increase in the share of renewable energy in the energy balance, by at least 15% of solar energy in 2030;
- Large-scale implementation of energy-saving and energy-efficiency measures, introduction of energy saving and energy efficient technologies in the transition of green and knowledge-based economy;
- Development of peaceful nuclear energy, in particular the construction of a new nuclear power unit in Armenia;
- Balanced, predictable tariffs for consumers with reliable, uninterrupted, quality power supply and normal operation of the energy system;
- Diversification of primary fuel and energy resources, in particular, natural gas supply routes to Armenia, guaranteeing at least two technological gas inputs to the country."
March 10, 2021 at 14:24