ArmInfo.The European Union continues to insist on the early closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant, since it is impossible even to bring the level of its security to international standards even by means of modernization. This January 30 on the margins of the fifth meeting of the Armenia-EU Subcommittee on Energy, Transport, Ecology, Climate Change and Civil Defense opened in Yerevan, answering the question of ArmInfo, the deputy head of the European Union's bilateral relations with the Eastern Partnership countries Dirk Lorenz told reporters.
At the same time, he said, Brussels understands the importance of the Armenian NPP in ensuring Armenia's energy security, and this fact is taken into account by the European Union. Currently, the EU and its Armenian partners are working to improve the safety of the station. After the tragic consequences of the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, the EU initiated stress tests at the EU nuclear power plants, Armenia carried out a similar stress test. "Now it is important to implement the results of this stress test, it is also important to actively develop energy efficiency, alternative and renewable energy." If you save and use little energy, you will need less energy in the future," said Dirk Lorenz.
Hayk Harutyunyan, Deputy Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of the Republic of Armenia, said that the agreement on "Comprehensive and Expanded Partnership" signed on November 24, 2017 in Brussels clearly stipulated the condition that Armenia should develop a "road map" for the withdrawal operating unit of the Armenian NPP from operation. "No one has the illusion that the current bloc will always work. Most of the $ 270 million of the Russian loan and a $ 30 million grant is aimed at improving the safety of the Armenian nuclear power plant to international standards. As a result of the program, the lifetime of the second power unit of the station will be extended for 10 years, after which its decommissioning is planned.
Answering the question of ArmInfo about the possibility of an alternative to renewable energy sources to nuclear energy by 2026, Hayk Harutyunyan did not rule out such a development of events. "Currently, the situation in the market of alternative energy is developing at a rapid pace, the accumulation technologies are developing rapidly, and everything is possible in this context," the deputy minister stressed, adding that at this stage it is not necessary to talk about replacing nuclear energy with an alternative. He recalled that Armenia in the energy sector is focusing its efforts on the implementation of three main tasks: liberalization of the electricity market, development of alternative and renewable energy and extension of the life of the power unit of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant N2.
Hayk Harutyunyan stressed that with the assistance of the EU, numerous programs in the sphere of alternative and renewable energy are being implemented in Armenia. In particular, an EU grant of 20 million euros is implementing a project to improve urban lighting in Yerevan, which will save considerable amounts of electricity and financial resources. The program on solid waste management in the Armenian capital, as well as in the Kotayk and Gegharkunik regions, is also being implemented. In Yerevan, the grant funds of the EU are modernizing kindergartens, taking into account elements of energy efficiency. The EU also provides serious assistance to the country's communities. The private sector from the EU countries is also actively involved in the implementation of projects in Armenia. So, out of 10 companies participating in the tender for the construction of the Maslik-1 solar power plant with a capacity of 55 MW, 5 companies from the countries of the European Union also appear among the applicants.
Earlier, German Ambassador to Armenia Matthias Kiesler stated that the German government through the German-Armenian Fund (GAF) provided Armenia with 150 million euros for the implementation of the "Renewable Energy Assistance" program, of which 50 million euros were spent on the restoration of the Vorotan cascade of hydroelectric power stations. 64 million euros are directed for retraining of specialists and holding seminars, the rest - for the development of energy efficiency. In the third phase of this program, 97 projects have been funded, of which 86 are aimed at installing solar heaters, and 11 - for the construction of photovoltaic stations.
According to the energy security strategy of the Republic of Armenia, by 2020, 20% of all electricity generated in Armenia will be accounted for by alternative and renewable sources of generation, and by 2026 this figure is planned to be increased to 50%.