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Introducing a new phenomenon in Armenia: Energy Cooperatives

WECF along with Belgian and European Energy Cooperatives explore possibilities of implementing sustainable energy in Armenia

11.10.2016 |




Energy cooperatives are a new phenomenon for the people of Armenia. All the more astonishing was the amount of interesting cases being presented, from successful farmers cooperatives to promising sustainable energy projects.

During a 3-day workshop (26 – 28 September 2016) in the Arudzi centre in Ahstarak, Armenian NGOs and representatives of local and national authorities were given an introduction into  European experience on energy cooperatives. Possibilities on how to implement alternative and democratic business models for renewable energy and energy efficiency were explored together with a board member of two successful Belgian/ European energy cooperatives, Energy2030 and Clean Power Europe, and WECF.

Organisers Aurudzi and TAPAN and the ministry of Agriculture provided information on the legal, technical and economic base for setting up energy cooperatives in Armenia. WECF and the Clean Power Europe in turn explained how energy cooperatives have contributed to the energy transition in Germany, and even turned into successful business models with several million Euro turnover and up to 8% dividends in many EU countries.

Representatives from Georgia and Armenia were asked to become founding members of a new cooperative set up by Clean Power Europe and will be the main contact persons for the region. Within ‘Aurudzi’ substantial practical experience and theoretical knowledge on PV, solar water heaters, energy auditing and other sustainable technologies is available, as well as a good understanding of legal, political and practical issues of renewable energy generation. They will be happy to support emerging energy cooperatives in this field.

The workshop participants calculated quickly that photovoltaic and wind power stations could be economically interesting projects for cooperation, understanding the concept of energy cooperatives, local conditions and prices and conditions for the participation of Clean Power Europe in financing RE projects. The payback time for both technologies is estimated 8-12 years. The needed space, connection to the grid and local photovoltaic expertise can be found in Armenia. The main part of the needed investment will be provided by Clean Power Europe.

The mayor of village Basin, for example, initiated a farmer’s cooperative for agro-technology. He installed a small hydro power station after having dreamt, ever since childhood, about a wind power station, able to provide electricity for his village.  Other groups showed their interest in more local projects producing solar food dryers, parabolic heaters, Solar Water Heaters and offering energy auditing.

Most of the participants confirmed at the end of the seminar their intention to pursue the concept of energy cooperatives, collaborate with their community members and develop business plans and projects. Those projects that need foreign investments will work intensively with Clean Power Europe in the coming months to develop a business and investment plan that both parties can agree on.

All initiatives will be supported by WECF and TAPAN within the frame of the CLEEN and other projects. Follow up seminars will be planned upon demand.
The workshop took place within the frame of the CLEEN project and is financed by the European Union, the Auswärtiges Amt, Urbis Foundation, Elektrizätswerke Schönau und GLS Stiftung Neue Energie. The NGOs Aurudzi and TAPAN organized the event in Aurudzi center in Ashtarak.

For more information please see:

www.wecf.eu  / www.wecf.ge
www.cleanpowereurope.eu

or contact: anna.samwel (at) wecf.eu


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