ArmInfo.Prospects for the development of geothermal energy in Armenia will be considered on June 3 at a conference dedicated to the results of the "Assessment of geothermal energy resources and natural hazards in Armenia" research project, prepared by a joint Armenian-American research group. The project is funded by PEER Science of the US National Academy of Sciences.
As the information center of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the Republic of Armenia reports, Armenia is known for its active geological faults, potentially active volcanic systems. Active volcanoes in Armenia not only represent a source of danger, but also represent an active potential for the development of geothermal energy. The use of the geothermal potential of the country is becoming an increasingly important area due to the fact that most of the country's energy production is currently generated from imported fossil fuels. Scientists believe, this study of the sources of geothermal energy in Armenia will significantly stimulate interdisciplinary research in the field of geology - volcanology, seismology, geophysics, geochemistry, and will facilitate the search for geothermal sources.
Based on the results of the Armenian-American study, the project group intends to submit to the Armenian government real proposals on the use of geothermal energy resources.
To note, research on the development of alternative energy sources, including geothermal energy, began in Armenia in the second half of the 2000s. They were carried out by the Spanish "Arries" company and based on the results of these works, it was decided to form "Karkar> geothermal station with a capacity of up to 40 MW in the southeast of the country. In April 2017, work began on the development of a feasibility study (FS) for the plant construction project based on the studies that have confirmed the resources of this source. Two wells were drilled to a depth of 1,500 meters each, which confirmed the availability of the necessary volumes of hot water with a temperature of 122.5 degrees above zero for the construction of the station. Testing was carried out in the best laboratories in the world. It was originally planned that the program will be put up for an international tender by the end of 2018. However, no investors were found, although some interest was shown by the Czech SUMEG GEOPOWER AG company. According to the program, the construction of this power facility will allow Armenia to receive an additional 200-250 million kWh of electricity. Moreover, the station will become the base, that is, it will generate electricity around the clock. Preliminarily, the volume of investments in the project is about $ 50 million. A road was laid to the Karkar area, which was supposed to serve the construction and operation of a geothermal power plant. Besides "Karkar", there are other promising sources in Armenia, for example, "Jermaghbyur", "Lidzor", sources on the border with Georgia and in Sisian.
To note, the previous renewable energy research program was implemented with the financial assistance of the Climate Investment Fund. Its total cost was $ 40 million, of which $ 28 million was spent on exploring opportunities in the field of solar energy, $ 9 million was a component of geothermal energy and $ 3 million was a component of the development of small hydropower.