ArmInfo. In the coming years, 35 new small hydropower stations with a total installed capacity of 62 MW will be built and put into operation in Armenia. Minister of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Ashot Manukyan stated this at a press conference in Yerevan on October 20.
According to him, the construction of small hydro power plants is part of the state's strategy to maximize the use of its own energy resources, which are planned to increase to 50%. At the same time, as the head of the department noted, unless emergency measures are taken, in the next five years 30% of all small hydro power plants will be closed due to physical and moral wear of equipment. The fact is, Ashot Manukyan stressed, that in order to save preferential loans, entrepreneurs purchased equipment for secondary and trigeminal use, and sometimes even collected the necessary devices for small hydro power plants at home. The result of this type of business is the emergence of serious environmental problems. "I consider the issue to be an economic one, rather than an ecological one," the head of the ministry said, pointing out the use of old water pipes in the construction of small hydroelectric power plants. At present, the principle of granting permits for water use has been changed. If previously there was a certain quota for water abstraction, now the authorities will go on compulsory way to take the volumes of water set by the state.
As ArmInfo informed earlier, the share of small hydroelectric power stations of Armenia in the structure of generated electricity reached 13% in 2016, which is 4% more than the previous year. According to the head of the energy department of the Ministry of Energy Infrastructures and Natural Resources of Armenia Hayk Badalyan, as of January 1, 2017, 178 small hydropower plants operate in Armenia (5 more than in 2016). The total installed capacity of these small hydropower plants was about 328 MW, production - about 957 million kWh. "The number of small hydropower stations in Armenia will continue to increase, according to the licenses granted, as of January 1, 2017, 39 more small HPPs with a total design capacity of about 74 MW and an annual output of 260 million kWh are under construction," Badalyan said. According to him, Armenia attaches great importance to the process of building efficient and environmentally safe small hydropower stations, considering this direction as one of the leading in the field of renewable energy development. Currently, the process of developing new technical requirements for HPPs is continuing, which will improve the conditions of their operation and ensure the stable development of small hydropower.