Tuesday, January 30 2018 17:18
Alexandr Avanesov

European Union continues to insist on early closure of Armenian nuclear power plant

European Union continues to insist on early closure of Armenian  nuclear power plant

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%.

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