Armenian Knowledge Base  

Go Back   Armenian Knowledge Base > Thematic forums > Science and Education
Register

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 27.04.2007, 13:01   #1
★★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
Hrach_Techie's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08 2004
Location: London, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 16,531
Downloads: 8
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 482 | 6
Default The future of Alternative Energy in Armenia

Quote:
The future of Alternative Energy in Armenia
Words By Impressions Staff


With its Soviet-built nuclear power plant nearing the end of its life and international pressure to “go green”, Armenia has the opportunity to position itself at the forefront of environmentally friendly energy production. Matthew Karanian and Robert Kurkjian explore the wind, water and solar options available and assess their viability.


During the 1990s, Armenia grappled with how to resolve its energy shortages. Since then, its nuclear power plant has been restarted, financial and technical assistance has come from the international community, natural gas imports have increased and the energy crisis has been mitigated. The country now relies upon a variety of sources, with nuclear energy accounting for about 35% of its energy needs, but over the past few years there has been increased pressure from the European Community to shut the nuclear plant down.


The Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant is operated by a Russian company and has two reactors with projected useful lives that will expire in a decade. Only one of the reactors is operating, and there are many reasons for shutting it down and keeping the other closed. The most persuasive of these arguments is that the reactors sit in a seismically active zone near a densely populated area, and they don’t have a containment dome that would prevent the release of radiation during an uncontrolled event.
The government has been studying energy issues since Armenia’s independence. Back in 1996, it projected that alternative sources of energy might be developed within the next six to eight years. At that time it was thought that those alternative sources might be enough to make it possible to shut down the nuclear power plant as early as 2004. Those alternative sources have not been developed – at least not to the extent necessary for them to be considered a genuine alternative to nuclear power.
Thermal power plants in Armenia, using a combination of oil and natural gas, fuel approximately 45% of the country’s needs and hydropower provides the balance. Strictly speaking, these are alternatives to nuclear power, but the cleanest, most cutting edge alternative energy sources available today are solar and wind.


These sources, also referred to as “renewable energy”, are cleaner than traditional sources, such as coal or oil combustion. Solar and wind power do have an impact upon our environment, but they don’t pollute the atmosphere during operation. Instead, the environmental impact is from the perceived blight upon the landscape created by a field of wind turbines or solar panels. Wind turbines have also been known to be harmful to birds and can be noisy, but such environmental problems are relatively insignificant compared to the problems that are created by nuclear and thermal energy generation.


Wind energy


Armenia doesn’t have a wind stream that is comparable to the Gulf Stream that exists in the US, but there is nevertheless some wind potential. Armenia is a mountainous country and strong winds frequently develop on mountain ridges or in the saddles of mountain passes. Indeed, some of these local wind currents are legendary.


According to fable, the stones of Armenia’s hot Ararat Plain were cooled by a unique airflow pattern. 1700 years ago, that swept down from the northern mountains and from the Lake Sevan region. The wind supposedly made life a bit more comfortable for an embattled man named Gregory, who was confined to a prison there. This man would later become a Saint, and the wind pattern has since been known as the Saint Gregory Wind.
At present, it is estimated that the economically viable capacity for wind energy is approximately equal to that of nuclear, about 500 MW, but wind energy development in Armenia is in its infancy. As part of a project funded by Gerard Cafesjian, an Armenian- American philanthropist, engineers are studying the economic viability of wind-generated electricity in Armenia. Testing is ongoing, but if wind power proves to be feasible, then Armenia could add wind-generated electricity to its portfolio of energy sources.
Windmills – actually large wind turbines – are sleek and aerodynamic. They are made of aluminum, steel or plastic and often operate in large fields. A wind-generated electricity project in Palm Springs, California, for example, uses a field of 7,500 windmills. It’s too costly to use one windmill to generate electricity for commercial purposes, but a single windmill can power a mechanical pump, which is how they are sometimes used in the US and places with extensive rural areas – Argentina, for example, has an estimated 320,000 solo windmills in operation.


Armenia has large tracts of rural areas, but one of the legacies of Soviet industrialisation is that nearly every place in Armenia has access to the electricity grid, so a remote location that might otherwise need to generate its own energy simply doesn’t need to. The future for wind power in Armenia, therefore, is in large wind farms that generate electricity that is then added to the grid. The Armenian government hopes one day to be able to generate as much as 10% of its electricity in this way.


Hydro power


Hydro power generates approximately 20% of Armenia’s energy needs. Although this form of power generation does not emit atmospheric pollution, there can be significant environmental impacts. The greatest impacts are on water quality and quantity, and changes to the surrounding environment. This is usually due to the construction of dams, which causes flooding above the dam, and decreases the water flow downstream.
Lake Sevan’s waters have been used for decades to generate electricity, but at a cost to the lake’s ecosystem. The increased out-flow of the lake’s water for use in hydroelectric generation has contributed to the lake’s deterioration by reducing its volume by roughly 40%, increasing the water temperature and impacting the fishing industry.


Solar energy


Energy from the sun is typically more affordable than wind power for individual residences. Solar is particularly economical for heating water, and actually beats many energy alternatives, though widespread implementation could take decades to achieve. Solar energy generation capacity in Armenia is currently around 650 MW, but estimates for future capacity are as high as 3,500 MW.


Dr Artak Hambarian, Director of the Engineering Research Center (ERC) at the American University of Armenia (AUA), has been researching solar energy and its applications for years. He estimates that it could take a business 20 or 30 years to earn enough savings in energy costs to pay for its investment in solar panels that are used to create electricity. For nearly a decade, the ERC has been engaged in a variety of solar energy related projects. Its project of perhaps greatest national significance is its Solar Monitoring Station (SMS), which collects solar radiation data to assist with evaluating and developing solar energy devices.


Based on data from the SMS, engineers have calculated that one square metre of land in Yerevan receives about 1,700 kWh of sun power annually. It is said that Yerevan is sunny for 300 days each year, and at this rate there is a great incentive for people to install solar panels on the roofs of their homes in order to heat water. Additional solar data collectors are proposed for installation at several locations around the country to further research the applications of solar energy.


Limited practical applications of solar energy have proven cost- effective for the AUA in recent years. The university is supplied with hot water and with heating and cooling by a project that engineers from ERC are working on. The project is known as DESODEC – the “Design and Installation of a Solar Driven Desiccant Cooling Demonstration System.” They have a solar water heater on the roof of the University’s six-floor building, and the solar heater, together with the Desiccant Evaporative Cooling system, provide the University with heat in the winter, and cooling in the summer.
A solar photovoltaic system, also installed on the roof, provides electricity to the system that makes the university building independent from the electricity grid, and which serves to back-up the university internet servers. The DESODEC is the first solar driven combined system in the former Soviet Union, and one of a handful in the world.


Who will benefit from alternative energy?


The thermal, nuclear and hydro facilities that Armenia inherited from the Soviet Union now generate so much electricity that Armenia has been able to sell some of it to the Republic of Georgia. But if Armenia were to halt its nuclear program, could wind and solar generated power be sold commercially, at a profit? How would the cost of producing wind or solar energy compare with the cost of the existing nuclear energy production in Armenia? According to energy consultant Serge Adamian, it is not meaningful to compare the nuclear example with solar or wind sources because Armenia isn’t paying for the nuclear power plant. It was already there when the country gained independence, so comparing wind and nuclear energy is therefore the “wrong paradigm,” he says. Armenia’s nuclear power plant is nearing the end of its productive life, and there are other serious issues to consider, such as waste disposal and safety. Analysts expect that the plant will be shut down within a decade, and there is not a high probability of a new one being built.


All of this means that alternative sources may not be fully exploitable today, but they will represent a far more practical solution if and when Armenia scraps nuclear power. Over time, Adamian says, wind and solar production will attract more support from the government and from others. Iran’s support in 2004 for a wind farm on Lake Sevan’s south-eastern shore is one such example.


The continued development and installation of alternative energy resources will also lessen Armenia’s reliance on imported fossil fuel. Air quality in Armenia will improve and there will be a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions – two peripheral but significant advantages.
With an appropriate and comprehensive strategy, Armenia has an opportunity to enter the international renewable energy market. In contrast to other established industrial markets, the renewable energy industry has not yet matured worldwide, which could provide an opportunity for Armenia’s scientists, its manufacturing industry, and associated businesses. The people of Armenia ultimately stand to benefit.


The Stone Garden Guide to Armenia, written and photographed by two insiders
The photographers and authors of this story –Robert Kurkjian and Matthew Karanian – have travelled extensively in Armenia and have just released a new book on the region, The Stone Garden Guide: Armenia and Karabagh (ISBN 09672120-8-1).


The guidebook highlights conservation efforts in Armenia, including attempts to adopt renewable energy technologies, and Robert Glenn Ketchum – a renowned conservationist and environmental photographer – contributes a Foreword. Splendid photography, detailed colour maps, and the insider perspective of its authors all combine to make it a unique offering.
Kurkjian and Karanian have been publishing books and photography on Armenia since 1999, when they released the coffee table photo book Out of Stone. They published Edge of Time: Traveling in Armenia and Karabagh in 2001, and then released a second edition a year later. The Stone Garden Guide: Armenia and Karabagh is available by mail order from amazon.com More information on the book is available at www.StoneGardenProductions.com.
http://impressions-ba.com/features.php?id_feature=10272

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/dec2...5-12-19-01.asp
Reply With Quote
Old 30.04.2007, 11:00   #2
★★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
Hrach_Techie's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08 2004
Location: London, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 16,531
Downloads: 8
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 482 | 6
Default

http://renewableenergyarmenia.am/
Reply With Quote
Old 14.08.2007, 13:42   #3
Devashish
 
nucleusfermi's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07 2007
Location: India.
Posts: 90
Downloads: 18
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 17 | 0
Default

Now when the human society is become so advanced and electric energy dependent, it is a very right concern of yours of alternative energy generation. Specially with a peculiar kind of situation in which Armenia is finding itself today that though it is net energy exporter yet if the one Nuclear Power Plant (Metsamor) is closed it'll be in a state of energy deficit. In my country India, there is very large scaled geographic diversity, so many alternatives are implimented in many regions, if I write something about my place, being in a xerophytic warm environment Wind and Solar energy is mostly exploited. Though Thermal and Nuclear power stations are yet the backbone. And as per my knowledge goes for Armenia, Agriculture is not that vastly developed economic activity there, but inspite of that I would suggest The Agricultural and Farm wastes can be utilized to produce Bio-Gas which can atleast support if not substitute the import of Gas by Armenia. "Euphorbiacea" family's plants and some other petro crops could also perform a significant role, though 'd not be so ecologiaclly friendly. You have touched very important point of any counrty's development, and I congratulate you on your efforts of initiating mass awareness on this issue by the means of the ARMKB forum. If I get good time in future then I will pass you some URLs providing more indepth knowledge specially about Petro Plants. Till then all the best for your sincere endevour to your nation and ultimately to the human society.
__________________

Last edited by nucleusfermi; 15.08.2007 at 23:07.
Reply With Quote
Old 14.08.2007, 23:56   #4
Кросаффчег!
 
hex's Avatar
 
Join Date: 09 2006
Location: йа здесь
Age: 37
Posts: 1,335
Downloads: 2
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 9 | 0
Default

нада пукать ф зажигалки...или в банку и зимой отапивастя...
Reply With Quote
Old 15.08.2007, 06:52   #5
★★★★★★★★★★★★★
 
Hrach_Techie's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08 2004
Location: London, UK
Age: 38
Posts: 16,531
Downloads: 8
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 482 | 6
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by nucleusfermi View Post
Now when the human society is become so advanced and electric energy dependent, it is a very right concern of yours of alternative energy generation. Specially with a peculiar kind of situation in which Armenia is finding itself today that though it is net energy exporter yet if the one Nuclear Power Plant (Metsamor) is closed it'll be in a state of energy deficit. In my country India, there is very large scaled geographic diversity, so many alternatives are implimented in many regions, if I write something about my place, being in a xerophytic warm environment Wind and Solar energy is mostly exploited. Though Thermal and Nuclear power stations are yet the backbone. And as per my knowledge goes for Armenia, Agriculture is not that vastly developed economic activity there, but inspite of that I would suggest The Agricultural and Farm wastes can be utilized to produce Bio-Gas which can atleast support if not substitute the import of Gas by Armenia. "Euphorbiacea" family's plants and some other petro crops could also perform a significant role, though 'd not be so ecologiaclly friendly. You have touched very important point of any counrty's development, and I congratulate you on your efforts of initiating mass awareness on this issue by the means of the ARMKB forum. If I get good time in future then I will pass you some URLs providing more indepth knowledge specially about Petro Plants. Till than all the best for your sincere endevour to your nation and ultimately to the human society.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You are right in that the net greenhouse gas emissions due to use of biomass are significantly less and that crop, forest residues, animal and municipal waste based systems are more sustainable of all the options available but still these systems are ecologically unfriendly when they are converted from biomass feed stocks. It is not hydrogen still where greenhouse gas emissions do not exist. On the other hand the best option for Armenia in terms of resource availability might be the solar derived energy. It is still not as much like in Africa or even less than in India but still economically feasible if you use hybrid power systems with PVs, wind, micro-hydro, river-run hydro, biomass, batteries and conventional generators. Wind is available in Armenia and it is the best option for the country in terms of energy payback. On the other hand alone the use of wind turbines can be economically not good because say a 10 MW system may be used to half of its potential or less because the wind might blow inconstantly. So combining several technologies to provide reliable power makes more sense for Armenia. As for geothermal, it is possible too but yet too expensive for Armenia. thanks!
__________________
Мадмазель, Медам, Месье! "Глория" меняет курс и направляется в Кейптаун! Кому это не нравится будет расстрелян на месте. (с)

http://texneg.livejournal.com
Reply With Quote
Old 15.08.2007, 23:02   #6
Devashish
 
nucleusfermi's Avatar
 
Join Date: 07 2007
Location: India.
Posts: 90
Downloads: 18
Uploads: 0
Reputation: 17 | 0
Default

And I think Armenia imports oil too, may be net oil ptodution is zero there, so if we think in that perspective means sliding from the core issue of electricity then bio diseal can be very efficient, I have noticed one site where you can know more about it and initiate new research initiatives in your place or atleast on individual basis.
hxxp://www.jatrophabiodiesel.org/indianScene.php
Do not forget to replace "hxxp to http", and remember it will be the ground level mass awareness which will make the difference, specially about the integrated approach which you're talking about.

"hex" wanted to convey something but I got failed to understand as only know English.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Reply

Thread Tools


На правах рекламы:
реклама

All times are GMT. The time now is 20:44.


Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.