EBRD and USAID Promote Solar Thermal in Armenia

SOS children village in ArmeniaArmenia is better known in the world for unresolved territorial disputes with its neighbour Azerbaijan than for being a pioneer in solar thermal energy. In fact, the utilisation of solar energy for water heating and space cooling is not as common among the around 3 million Armenians as it could be. The Eurasian country at the foot of Mount Ararat has favourable climate conditions: According to the Armenia Energy Profile 2012 by Chinese online media agency glObserver, the sun in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, shines almost 2,600 hours each year and the average annual solar radiation across the country is around 1,720 kWh/m². The photo shows solar water heaters on a cottage in an SOS Children´s Village in Armenia. The systems were funded by the Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP)
Photo: ME&A / CWEP
 
In 2007, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) launched the Caucasus Energy Efficiency Programme (CEEP) as a USD 60 million credit line for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Armenia and Georgia (see table below). “Last July, we increased the CEEP budget by an extra USD 40 million,” Christopher Falco, Senior Banker at EBRD London, says, adding that Armenia’s CEEP is covered through the Armenia Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (ArmSEFF). Over the years, ArmSEFF has not only financed energy efficiency measures, but also renewable energy projects, such as the installation of a 190 kW solar water heating system for the renovated Best Western Paradise hotel from the 1980s, located in the resort town of Dilijan. The EBRD also granted USD 3.5 million to the Armenian ACBA Credit Agricole Bank, which provides loans for green projects in the residential, as well as the commercial sector.
 
USAID funds solar water heaters in social institutions
In 2011, renewable energy expert Armen Gharibyan published a study on the possibilities of solar thermal energy in Armenia (see attached document). Solar collectors could be a smart choice for every Armenian wanting to reduce his or her energy bill, he concluded back then and proposed the installation of solar water heaters at social institutions in rural areas. This is exactly what the USAID-funded CEWP has done. The CEWP is a four-year project which started in fall 2011 and has been managed by US consulting firm Mendez England & Associates (ME&A).
 
“Our basic goal is to develop capacity for integrated energy and water resource planning,” Tom H Cyrs, Development Advisor at the CEWP, says. The CEWP has already completed several demonstration projects in rural communities, not only for water regulation and energy-efficient street lighting, but also for solar thermal energy. “These projects are typically small-scale, but significantly improve the well-being and infrastructure of the villages they are implemented in,” Cyrs explains. He refers to two recent completed projects, the installation of solar water heaters in the SOS Children's Village of Kotayk (see the photo above) and the setting up of a solar air heating system for the primary health care clinic in the village of Darbas, which are both described on the ME&A website listed below. “Those projects help the communities to save energy and therefore funds, all while allowing them to be more environmentally responsible.”
 
Projects could serve as an exapmle for other communities
Cyrs hopes that these projects could serve as examples for other communities and organisations in Armenia. “To us, an ideal project is when we implement clean energy or water practices with partner communities and then, in turn, spark action in neighbouring communities wishing to implement similar projects on their own, because they've seen the benefits,” the development adviser says. That`s why on 5 December last year, the CEWP expert organised an exhibition together with producers and suppliers of small-scale energy efficiency equipment, such as solar air and water heaters, in the village of Tatul in western Armenia.
 
More information:
glObserver – Armenia Energy Profile 2012: www.globserver.cn/en/armenia/energy
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – Caucasus Energy Efficiency Programme (CEEP): www.ebrd.com/pages/project/psd/2007/37820.shtml
Armenian Sustainable Energy Financing Facility (ArmSEFF): www.armseff.org
ACBA Credit Agricole Bank: www.acba.am
Armenia Clean Energy and Water Program (CEWP): www.mendezengland.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=119 (including case studies)
 
Frank Stier is a Sofia-based freelance journalist, working for print and online media, as well as news agencies: www.socb.de
 
 
Credit line offered in Armenia and available between 2013 and 2016.
 

Country / Region

The Caucasian countries Armenia and Georgia

Name of programme

Caucasus Energy Efficiency Program II (CEEP II)

Type of incentive

Combination of loans and grants for private companies and individuals for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments

Eligible technologies

Solar water heaters, solar cooling systems and solar thermal dryers among other energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies

Applicable sectors

Residential and commercial

Amount

Up to USD 2.5 million for corporate customers

Maximum incentive

10-15% of the eligible loan amount

Requirements for system

Not specified

Requirements for installation

Not specified

Finance provider

Commercial banks, leasing companies and microfinance institutions that are eligible to receive loans by EBRD to pass them over to residential and commercial clients

Cartu Bank

Ameriabank Energy Efficiency Loan

Bank of Georgia

Anelik Bank

TBC Bank: Energy Efficiency Loan II

BoG Energy Efficiency Loan II

ACBA Energy Efficiency

SEF International

Credo Georgia

Bank Republic

Total funds

USD 40 million

Funding sources

EBRD for loans

European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (EU-NIF) and EBRD Special Shareholders Fund for incentives

Effective date

July 2013

Expiration date

-

Website

www.ebrd.com/pages/project/psd/2007/37820.shtml

www.armseff.com/

www.energocredit.ge

Last review of this tabloid

March 2014

Contact

Christopher Falco
Senior Banker, EBRD
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: +44 (0) 207 338 6399
Tel: +44 (0) 207 338 7380
E-mail: FalcoC@ebrd.com

Internet: www.ebrd.com

 

Country / Region

The Caucasian countries Armenia and Georgia

Name of programme

Caucasus Energy Efficiency Program II (CEEP II)

Type of incentive

Combination of loans and grants for private companies and individuals for energy efficiency and renewable energy investments

Eligible technologies

Solar water heaters, solar cooling systems and solar thermal dryers among other energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies

Applicable sectors

Residential and commercial

Amount

Up to USD 2.5 million for corporate customers

Maximum incentive

10-15% of the eligible loan amount

Requirements for system

Not specified

Requirements for installation

Not specified

Finance provider

Commercial banks, leasing companies and microfinance institutions that are eligible to receive loans by EBRD to pass them over to residential and commercial clients

Cartu Bank

Ameriabank Energy Efficiency Loan

Bank of Georgia

Anelik Bank

TBC Bank: Energy Efficiency Loan II

BoG Energy Efficiency Loan II

ACBA Energy Efficiency

SEF International

Credo Georgia

Bank Republic

Total funds

USD 40 million

Funding sources

EBRD for loans

European Union’s Neighbourhood Investment Facility (EU-NIF) and EBRD Special Shareholders Fund for incentives

Effective date

July 2013

Expiration date

-

Website

www.ebrd.com/pages/project/psd/2007/37820.shtml

www.armseff.com/

www.energocredit.ge

Last review of this tabloid

March 2014

Contact

Christopher Falco
Senior Banker, EBRD
One Exchange Square
London EC2A 2JN
Tel: +44 (0) 207 338 6399
Tel: +44 (0) 207 338 7380
E-mail: FalcoC@ebrd.com

Internet: www.ebrd.com

 

 

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