Armenia: Yerevan hosts conference on photovoltaic investment opportunities
The capital of Armenia hosted a conference which targeted potential investors in the photovoltaic sector. The initiative, organised by the local Fund for Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency (R2E2) and sponsored by the Ministry of Energy, the World Bank and the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), focused on presenting potential investment opportunities in Armenia for the development of solar energy.
The Armenian President, Serzh Sargsyab, opened the conference highlighting his country's commitment to the energy sector. His government's strategy envisages the development of renewable energy sources at sustainable prices, the development of energy efficiency, regional integration and the diversification of sources. It also updates atomic energy production via the temporary extension of the obsolete Metsamor plant (the EU participates in this programme) and the subsequent construction of a modern plant with a power capacity under 600MW.
The production of energy from renewables can benefit from some incentives, such as norms guaranteeing the purchase of energy produced from solar, wind or biogas sources for 20 years, ensuring prompt payments to producers by means of the "Take or Pay" formula. A special focus was devoted to the development of hydroelectric power mini-plants (SHPP), most of which are built by private undertakings. The production of energy from SHPP has increased tenfold in the past decade also thanks to direct foreign investments amounting to approximately 300 million dollars. There would also be space allocated to build more plants.
The photovoltaic potential has been estimated to account for approximately 6000MW, with investment opportunities amounting to 8 billion dollars. The first international call for tenders targeting independent producers will be launched this year, with the aim of implementing and managing six plants (from 9 to 55 MW). The potential of wind energy has been estimated to account for a total capacity of 800 MW. Investment opportunities in this sector would account for approximately 11.2 billion dollars. A pilot project on geothermal energy is now in progress, involving drilling activities to implement a 30 MW plant. The first international call for tenders is scheduled to take place in 2018. Local authorities foresee the construction of 30 plants, with investment opportunities in this sector amounting to 100 million dollars.