By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Some Armenian experts believe that the country should focus on the development of solar generation and forget about wind power. Another part of experts argue that desertification of nearby territories and the inability of people, animals and birds to live in such places are a reason to reject solar energy.
However, no serious scientific data on the negative impact of the solar energy generation on animals exists.
Earlier, experts believed that the former Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan was to blame for the destruction of the solar electricity development in Armenia. However, it seems that current Armenian authorities decided to follow in the footsteps of the previous government in the renewable energy issue.
The fact is that Armenia’s wind power generation is still very poorly developed. There are only two wind power plants (WPP) in Armenia, one of which, Lori-1 with a capacity of 2.64 MW was launched in 2005.
In general, renewable energy in Armenia today has a number of problems. These include the lack of storage capacity to regulate consumption of energy generated from renewable energy sources; a shortage of generators capable of quickly loading and unloading.
Another problem is the remoteness of the renewable energy sources from the main power lines, which leads to overloading of lines and an increase in the cost of the project.
In addition, in some cases, due to changes in the electricity flow in the network, losses in the lines increase, which is especially harmful for small Armenian communities.
According to the research of the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the economically justified wind energy potential of Armenia is estimated at 450 MW of installed capacity with electricity generation of 1.26 billion kW/h.
Various companies promise to start a WPP construction; however, no practical changes in this direction have been happening for a long time.
Besides, one of the chronic problems of Armenia is energy security. Electricity in this country is expensive, the average daily rate for a population per kW/h is 44 drams ($0.09). Armenia's energy sphere requires modernization, which is carried out extremely slowly. Today, Armenia has to buy electricity from Iran.
Investment unattractiveness of Armenia is another chronic problem which creates difficulties in the energy sphere.
In addition, the situation in Armenia’s power sector could qualitatively change if the country would refuse to make confrontation with its neighbors. Refusal of territorial claims on Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh as well as the termination of the artificial incitement of conflict in the southern territories of Georgia would allow Armenia to join international energy projects that are currently operated by Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. By doing this, Armenia would be able to fully provide itself with at least a more favorable electricity price.
However, today, Armenia remains far away from constructive logic in this regard.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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