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RE Projects

Renewable Energy Project in Armenia (WB/GEFTF-05211)


The Renewable Energy Project (REP), bearing TF-053910 index of Global Environmental Institution (GEF) and World Bank (WB), started in 2007. It was implemented by Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund.  REP consisted of two main components – credit and grant components. REP financial funds were provided for supporting the construction of Small scale Hydro Power Plants (SHPP-s) in Armenia. The total REP credit package made about USD 15 mln. of which WB portion made USD5 mln. Another USD 3 mln. amount made the portion of Gafeschyan Family Fund (USA) and USD 7 mln. was the portion of EBRD.

At the expense of these funds 26 SHPP construction project  has been carried out with 43 MW total capacity and about 160 thousand kWh annual production. Already 12 power plants out of the mentioned are in operation at present and the rest are in construction and licensing stages. Regular return of financial funds is being performed.  The successful implementation of REP credit component set a good example for the start of several similar projects in Armenia: Armenian-German Fund, ArmCEEF European Project, IFC Project and etc., studies of fundamental importance in RE sector, studies on resources, evaluation of RE this or that type of technology potential and perspective availability and etc. Besides, the Fund outlined the direction and content of the envisaged studies, developed their terms of references, organized and implemented international and local tenders for choosing companies performing those studies, as well as conducted control of the work implementation and evaluation of adequacy of the resulted outcomes.

Upon the start of the works about 20 separate expensive international projects and special studies have been implemented within the frame of REP for most various directions of renewable energy (RE) in Armenia. Round 124 leading experts, of which 105 local and 19 foreign experts (from USA, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia) have participated in these works. The conducted studies include such RE sectors like: SHPP-s, solar photovoltaic energy, bio-ethanol production, geothermal energy, development of norms and standards for some technologies of this sector, development of RE geographical-informative system, Assessment of peak electricity potential and hydro-accumulative station perspective availability for Armenian and regional markets and etc.  The following studies implemented within REP framework were of special applicative importance, such as: development of the microprocessor-based relay protection system for energy absorption increase from RE sources, development of its estimated methodology and norms/standards (Project  “Support to energy system regulation and protection in Armenia for energy absorption from RE sources”), as well as development of the Project for Emergency systemic automatics securing the safety of RE stations and reliability and efficiency of the works in the Armenian 2010-2016 energy system. Manuals resulted from those studies, are actively being used at present by the specialists of this field. Moreover, special studies have been conducted in the country aimed at taking actions for identifying and overcoming obstacles impeding the development, developing business plans for RE projects, defining supporting and financing mechanisms for their implementation.
Also numerous activities, seminars, conferences, trainings, workshops and round tables for public and professional information have been held denoted to RE development in Armenia. For the first time in Armenia a number of biennale scientific meetings, exhibitions and activities have been organized entitled “The week of Renewable Energy”.
At last the Renewable Energy Guideline Program (Road map) has been developed which is presented in this Reference Book. For a certain sense this Guideline Program unifies the results of  REP and all other programs implemented so far and points out the RE development targets in Armenia and the ways to achieve them. The peculiarity of this Roadmap is the fact that as opposed to studies conducted so far, the RE development is considered here for the extended “energy” sector. Such an approach assumes the assessment of RE penetration level not only in electricity but also in thermal energy sector as well as in transport. Let us briefly touch upon
some results from certain studies.

Small scale Hydro Power Plants (SHPP)

“SHPP Development Scheme of the Republic of Armenia” developed in 1997 was for a long time the only complete professional document for SHPP development in Armenia. Within the frame of REP the utter renovation and updating of this Scheme, during which some field investigations have been performed in 14 river basins of 9 provinces (marzes) of RA, collection of various types of data and their comparison has been conducted and a comprehensive analysis of the materials has been implemented.

As a result the Renovated and updated Scheme for RA SHPP has been prepared, which was confirmed by the Resolution of the RA Government. 115 new SHPP-s have been included in the Renovated Scheme, for which all main technical and economic parameters have been calculated. The presented table completes the received data. It should be mentioned that the plants of the SHPP Renovated Scheme are in general much more efficient plants that the previous scheme plants. Thus,  although as compared with the previous scheme the total number of  renovated SHPP  has been approximately reduced twice (115 against 206), but the total installed capacity has been increased by about 24%- and has made 147 MW instead of previous 111 MW. And the total renovated SHPP production has been increased by 40% and has made about 540mln. kWh/y instead of 325 mln. kWh/y of the previous scheme. At present many of this Renovated Scheme SHPP-s – about 70plants are already in operation and/or in the stages of construction and licensing process.

Name of RA River Basins

Number of SHPP-s in the Basin

Total installed capacity

Average annual production

Number of working hours

SHPP factor



































Lake Sevan






Azat & Vedi




































Hydro-accumulative Plant
Within the project of “Assessment of peak electricity potential and hydro-accumulative plant perspective availability for Armenia and regions” the peculiarities of the electricity load regimes in the Republic and regional countries have been studied. It has been stated the perspective availability of constructing a hydro-accumulative plant (HAP) in Armenia for which out of 11 sites 3 of them were chosen as perspective ones.   The main installed parameters of HAP have been defined: 150 MW installed capacity with annual 440 mln.kWh production.  In accumulative regime: 200mW installed capacity with 580mln.kWh annual consumption.
The study results point out that although HAP is considered to be a net-consumer of electricity, anyway HAP will allow first to extend the technical regulation zone of the system capacity by 350 MW, then it will ensure the annual average loading of the main (base) plants, for instance ANPP, by 100 MW, thus increasing the annual production of the latter with about 700 mln. kWh. HAP will reduce the night losses in the Armenian Thermal power plants, it will increase the exportation volumes of electricity to Iran and other neighboring countries, will enhance the flexibility of the system regimes – setting up a base for the Armenian system to implement regional dispatching services and functions as well as I till essentially improve the general efficiency of the Armenian electrical system regimes.

During the studies for assessment of bio-ethanol production perspectives in Armenia by the first generation technology, 21 alant starch (inulin) containing different vegetation plants have been considered, of which 4 plants have been chosen for further consideration. It should be stated that in view of the international experience of bio-fuel production, the conducted study was based on the following directions: The fertile grounds of Ararat valley should not be used for bio-ethanol production in Armenia, it should not distort (damage) the endemic flora and it should not negatively affect on food production and prices.
Therefore, during the study only non-irrigable grounds of upland zones and stable and resistant vegetation plants of the country have been evaluated.  Feasibility studies for the projects of constructing two plants for bio-ethanol production working on forage maize and topinambur  /girasole/. It has been pointed out the possibility of producing totally about 14 thousand tons of bio-ethanol annually from these plants, which will allow implementing about 5-10% displacement (saving) of total petrol consumption in the Republic.
In addition to the conducted study, it was additionally performed with 2nd and higher technology generation by ARREEF specialists the evaluation of bio-ethanol production potential from cellulose stuffs. According to the resulted appraisals it is possible annually to implement up to 100 thousand tons of bio-ethanol production in Armenia, of which about 50 thousand tons of bio-ethanol can be exported to neighboring countries.

Geothermal Energy
By geothermal energy utilization the electricity production is considered to be perhaps the only technology of the whole RE sector with which it is possible to provide with guaranteed electricity production for covering the baseline electricity load. You see solar, wind and small scale energies considered to be principally non-regulatory sources in this sense. Therefore, it is not surprising that a great attention is given to utilization of especially geothermal energy in Armenia.
Within REP framework under a special study diverse and extensive data were consolidated and thoroughly analyzed on high potential geothermal energy sources available so far in Armenia. As a result, the two perspective sites were marked out for which the presence and availability of geothermal energy source with high potential had maximum feasibility. Special study projects were prepared for those sites.
It should be underlined that the received results were so encouraging that the World Bank and international GEOFUND Fund additionally allocated to Armenia separate grant financing for complex investigations and explorations in two perspective sites (Gridzor, Karkar) of Syunik and Gegharkunik provinces of Armenia  (GEF TF-092563). At present these works are in process.

Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Energy
The main objective of this project implemented within REP framework was to support modern PV energy development in Armenia in the whole range of this sector based on “from raw material to market” principle in the assumption of providing final product and/or maximum surplus product formation direction in Armenia.
During the works the presence of perspective raw material in Armenia was stated:  quartzites, opalites, diatomites with economically significant volumes. Moreover, it was concluded that certain mine stuff of quartzite with their main features and negligible extent of mixtures can serve as a base for not only metallurgical and PV silicium but also for super pure silicium production. From the other side the potential of significant solar energy in Armenia (25% more than the average European indicator) and the availability of a relevant strategy aimed at developing this sector in this direction can stimulate involvement of  local and international investments in this sector leading to establishing actually a new industrial field in the republic, which will contribute to stable development of economy and  enhancement of energy safety level, will create new working places.
In the assumption of economic profitability, expense data for organization of industry, based on its international experience and analysis of the world market prices, for the purpose of PV industry development in Armenia 12 modern technologies have been considered of which 2 perspective ones have been chosen. Separate scenarios have been considered for them.
Scenario 1. In the process of Siemens Company- production of PV modules with totally 150MW/y volume. The proposed technological chain – quartzite mining, processing of metallurgical silicium, PV polysilicium production by trichlorine-silanе production and filtration, preparation of ingots, foils, solar PV elements and modules. The required investments for realization of this scenario will make about USD 230 mln. (USD of 2009).
Scenario 2. Production of PE modules with totally 150MW/y volume in combination of polysilicium and deeply filtrated metallurgical silicium (FMG) The proposed technological chain – quartzite mining, processing of metallurgical silicium, production of FMG silicium and polysilicium, intermixture process, preparation of ingots, foils, solar PV elements and modules. The required investments for realization of this scenario will make about USD 200 mln. (USD of 2009).

The reports of all other studies and programs under the above-mentioned as well as REP can be loaded from ARREEF website or from RE internet portal of Armenia.
Concluding the material I have a pleasure to underline that the implementation of such an extensive, complex and  comprehensive studies would be impossible if not the devoted and professional work of the World Bank REP team in Armenia: A.Balabanyan, A.Kochnakyan, A.Astvatsatryan and Project Manager Mr. Gevorg Sargsyan, of the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of RA represented by the Deputy Minister Mr. Areg Galstyan, the support of specialists of RA other ministries and departments. REP implementation would be impossible without the daily professional, organizational and human assistance of the Manager of Armenia Renewable Resources and Energy Efficiency Fund Mrs. Tamara Babayan and the Fund staff. And at last I would like to express my deep gratitude to all our advisers and specialists from Armenia and foreign countries for their devoted, skillful and fruitful work in REP implementation. This is the very work that makes the warp and woof of the results received under REP in Armenia.