International Seminar on Alternative Energy Issues

(Press Release)

Yerevan, 10 September 2018. Solar energy is the most important direction in the development of the economy. To date, it is considered to be a very attractive sector for business where investments in just a short time are paid back.

Although Armenia has not even been considered a country of business development opportunities yet, however, experts estimate that in the next few years Armenia can become a regional leader in the field of solar energy use.

Rapid cost recovery and low risks make this sector extremely attractive for investments, and the excess of solar resource increases the availability of these technologies. Some years ago a few companies in Armenia were engaged in solar energy. Today there are dozens of them.

On the initiative of the “Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment” NGO (AWHHE) an international seminar dedicated to renewable energy use and environmental protection was organized on September 10, 2009 at “Nairi” Hall of “Ani Plaza” Hotel. The event was organized within the framework of the solar energy project entitled “Solar Energy for Low-Carbon Sustainable Lifestyles in Solak, Aygavan and Malishka Rural Communities of Armenia”. It is funded through the 10YFP Trust Fund established by UNEP. The project was selected through an open 10YFP Trust Fund Call for Proposals for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme with the financial support of the Government of Japan.

Experts from Japan, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Chile, as well as representatives of ministries and agencies, civil society, business sector, target communities and mass media participated in the seminar.

President of AWHHE NGO Elena Manvelyan mentioned in her speech that some countries completely are moving toward the use of alternative energy sources, such as
energy of the sun, wind, water, earth’s interior and biogas. In some regions, the production of “green” energy exceeds traditional energy production volumes. Armenia, which has about 300 sunny days a year, should take its place among the countries that give priority to the use of “green” energy.

Research Manager of the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) Atsushi Watabe, expressed his satisfaction with the implementation of the project. He mentioned, that the implemented by AWHHE project on alternative solar energy  is  an excellent model not only for Armenia but also for the rest of the world to promote sustainable ways of living. The workshop is a great opportunity to revisit what has been achieved and learned, and to explore the ways forward.

During the seminar the experts from abroad presented the experience gained by their countries in the field of alternative energy.

Marcelo Matus, Subdirector of the Energy Center in the University of Chile, shared the experience in the use of geothermal energy for the promotion of sustainable production model in rural areas in Chile.

Rostislav Musiy, senior staff scientist of the Department of Physical Chemistry of Fossil Fuels of the NAS of Ukraine expressed a hope that effective cooperation with Armenian organizations in the field of green energy will promote the protection of the nature and climate of our planet.

Dzimitry Buronkin, an expert from Belarus noted, that in Belarus there is a good experience of cooperation between the public organization and local authorities of the Braslav region in preparation for the district strategies to achieve climate neutrality. Thanks to the project, in Braslav the use of local fuel (wood chips) and share of renewable energy in the overall energy balance increased, which helped bring the region closer to climatic neutrality.

During the seminar, Knarik Grigoryan, an expert from AWHHE, presented the lessons learned as a result of the activities implemented within the framework of the project, as well as CO2 emissions reduction. She underlined that the project contributed to the improvement of four aspects of sustainable development: environmental, social, economic and cultural. At the end of the seminar, the results of the group work were presented and relevant recommendations were elaborated.