Interview of Vahe Davtyan, President of Pure Energy Newly Established Armenian Nongovernmental Organization, with ARKA News Agency
ARKA – What is the key idea of your project and what is the project’s mission?
Davtyan – Pure Energy Company was registered just recently, about one month ago. Therefore we look as startups. However, this is only a formal aspect of the matter. Our team is made up of skilled energy specialists, who have rich experience in this area and are also engaged in scientific studies, which are used in some scientific publications.
These studies are focused on several aspects – economic, technical and political. I think this is important potential for our organization, and it will be fully used.
Our mission is to provide comprehensive support to creation and enhancement of Armenia’s energy security through humanization and democratization of energy as key economic category.
The organization’s objective is to explore room for developing alternative energy as a necessary element ensuring energy independence to the country.
Obvious is that a country which depends on imported energy resources should search ways for diversifying its energy system. We understand that this is a very difficult process. Many may accuse us of romanticism. But there is a problem, and it is necessary to solve it.
ARKA – How can the Pure Energy promote alternative energy development in Armenia?
Davtyan – Grounds are many. It is not a secret that Armenia is rich in renewable energy sources. First of all, I’d like to say that Armenia has immense capacity for developing solar energy. Armenia enjoys certain advantages – close vicinity to the tropical zone and favorable climate.
Specialists say annual solar energy in our country is 1,720 kilowatt/hour per one square meter, while Europe has only 1,000.
Warm season’s sunshine duration in Armenia makes up 85% of annual duration, and average sunshine duration reaches 60%.
Unfortunately, few organizations in Armenia engage in this subject. I can point out only SolarEn, Sun Energy and Via Solar companies. Everybody understands that full-extent development of solar energy in Armenia is impossible with such a small number of market players.
Our country is also rich in another important energy source – wind. Today its potential is more than 10,000 megawatt. Specialists say 100-megawatt wind power plants in different provinces of our country would generate 2 billion kilowatt-hour of electric power every year, if constructed.
I can single out Pushkin, Karakhachin, Semenov, Zod and Sisyan mountain passes as well as Charentsavan region as places fit for construction of wind power plants on them.
The wind energy area has already started rallying in Armenia – Lori-1, the first wind power plant in Caucasus, has been built in Lori province and the World Bank has provided $1.5 million to Armenia for exploring room for development of geothermal energy in the country. It has been found that there are many places in Armenia which can be used for construction of geothermal plants. Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces are among them.
Specialists say the ambition of 200 megawatt is quite feasible for Armenia. More than that – geothermal resources are also attractive, since they can be used for a long time, regardless of seasons.
I would also like to point out another energy source, biogas. The process of generating power from it is still at initial stage.
According to the USAID program’s data, Armenia will have more than 38 million cubic meters of biogas every year until 2020, if $35 million is invested.
It seems exploration of biogas field on Nubarashen waste deposit with participation of Japanese companies is the only big program in this area. The problem, as we know, remains unsolved…
Biogas can also be found in cattle-breeding, pig and chicken farms.
ARKA – What do you think, should alternative energy in Armenia be developed by private sector or via government programs?
Davtyan – I think energy, regardless of whether it alternative or traditional, is a strategic segment for any country. That is why public and private sectors’ partnership should be considered as an ideal model.
It is clear that this industry will be not competitive if it is in the government’s hands only.
First of all, alternative energy is a promising business, and it is necessary to develop market categories, such as equal access and competition, to be able to develop this business.
Unfortunately, nothing like that is seen in our energy system yet. By the way, The Pure Energy will begin its 2013 activity with analyzing market problems. We are an open organization and we are willing to cooperate within any framework. -0-