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Short review of Energetic Policy in Armenia

12.03.2016

hek-1 Since 2001 the law on energy is functioning in the RA, according to which the sector is regulated by the Public Services Regulatory Commission,
which members may be citizens with higher education, capable to ensure performance of duties under this Law with their Professional Competence.Since 2004, is operating the law on Energy Saving and Renewable Energy. Within the basic principles of state policy envisaged by these laws in the field of energy is also planned ensuring transparency of the licensed operations in the energy sector, providing energy security and environmental protection issues.

There are also a number of legal acts, through which are encouraged renewable energy developments, defined incentive tariffs for electricity sales.

In particular, the power stations are required to purchase primary, with high tariff electricity generated by SHPPs, through biogas and wind plants with 15- year guarantee purchase.

However, there are other obstacles which are not overcome by such encouragement, and the gradually increase of the number of SHPPs led to great damages in terms of ecosystems protection and worsening socio-economic conditions of the rural population.

With regard to encouraging energy saving mechanisms, then those are almost missing.

As under the Climate Change Convention the transport emissions are also considered energy emissions, it should be noted that about 70% of the car park of Armenia use natural gas as a motor fuel, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. But on the other hand the transport blockade and having no access to the sea lead to the emissions increase in the field of passenger and freight transportation.
In terms of the climate change the energy sector is vulnerable.

The point is that the SHPPs are provided 30% of the used electricity, whereas this sector is seasonal: the rivers are most abundant in the months when demand for electricity is low, in addition in recent years is observed decrease in Armenia’s water resources.

More detailed information about this can be found in national reports on climate change, through the http://www.nature-ic.am/ website.

The participation issue is regulated by the Aarhus Convention ratified by Armenia in 2001, but are not embedded the tools of implementation, in particular is not developed the public participation procedure.

Another issue is the projects implemented in the field of energy sector, which efficiency is sometimes estimated without consideration of those emissions.
In particular, Armenia receives gas from Iran, in exchange of which gives environmentally clean electricity, as a result our country’s emissions are increasing for per capita, while consumption is not.

In this case, we could, for example, originally state in the agreement on sharing the emissions.
As the information about greenhouse gas emissions and measures should be open and accessible in accordance with the Paris agreement, Armenia is now taking action to ensure the availability of data, but only for access to information cannot provide the public proper participation at the energy policy.

After the adoption of the 2020 EU Climate and Energy Package, the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors to endorse and support the efforts deployed by local authorities in the implementation of sustainable energy policies.

The Covenant of Mayors is a unique agreement that succeeded in mobilising a great number of local and regional authorities to develop action plans and direct investments towards climate change mitigation measures. End of 2015, the initiatives merged under the new integrated Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. Several Armenian Mayors have already joined this initiative, it means that ice has somehow broken, because they are going to make political commitments and take a lot of actions included the Energy Efficiency and transparency in this field.

There is a government decision on the organization of public debates, which also does not provide adequate public participation in terms of having an impact on the final decision. This issue is actual not only for Armenia.

According to experts, there is no a lever of public motivated participation.
Taking into consideration that democracy is governed by the people, therefore the public should have a real management tool, which can be in a form of ownership.

And by the «Khazer» environmental-cultural NGO, which member also me, has been advanced ideology that the lever should be materialized, that citizens have the right of ownership over the country’s natural resources and other resources.

In that case only they can be interested claimants, and in their natural right will participate in decision-making.

Mari Chakryan
MA in Geo-ecology
Expert of Eco-information