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Energy and Water

Energy and water resources are critical to a strong business climate, sustainable economic growth, and regional stability. USAID has helped Armenia to achieve measurable progress in the energy and water sectors. Physical infrastructure upgrades have been accompanied by institutional and regulatory reform that have increased transparency, accountability and self-reliance. However, Armenia still faces challenges in sourcing and managing both its energy and water. The country is among the most dependent on energy imports relative to usage in the E&E region, with its energy efficiency below the global average. The primary drivers of Armenia’s energy insecurity are price increases of natural gas imports, weak diversification in terms of source and supplier, and substantial risks associated with the aging nuclear power plant Metsamor that generates 42% of the country’s electricity.

Building on past accomplishments, USAID will continue to support Armenia to consolidate and advance reforms in energy and water management in order to make them more reliable and efficient. USAID will provide technical assistance to the Armenian government in conducting long-term strategic analyses and plans, identifying optimal energy and water investments, improving nuclear safety in accordance with Western standards, supporting application of science and technology, and strengthening regional cooperation and energy integration. In response to water scarcity issues, USAID will advise on sustainable water planning and management, support the development of environmentally friendly renewable resources, as well as increase the capacity of water management bodies and communities to improve the accessibility, quality and affordability of water and energy services.

CURRENT PROGRAM

The Clean Energy and Water Project is designed to improve water and energy management practices in Armenia as well as help the country better respond to climate change challenges. The program assists in the development of an integrated basin plan for Armenia’s southern basin and in the assessment of groundwater in the Ararat Valley. The program also implements water and energy projects in several rural communities of Armenia to demonstrate best practices in the management of energy and water systems. These projects focus on water supply, efficient lighting, space and water heating, use of biogas and solar energy.

Safety Analysis of Civilian Nuclear Use and Support for Critical Human Capacity Building at the Nuclear and Radiation Center (NRSC) - The goal of the project is to help NRSC strengthen its human and institutional capacity by providing advice and consultations that will assist with safety analysis of civilian nuclear use. The analysis will help the Armenian Nuclear Regulatory Authority to assess safety issues related to the existing Metsamor nuclear power plant. The safety features are also intended to address lessons learned from the March 2011 accident at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.

Support to National and Regional Energy Planning, and Capacity Building at the Scientific Research Institute of Energy (SRIE) - The goal of the project is to provide technical assistance to the SRIE to strengthen its human and institutional capacity in order to develop and analyze the least cost generation plan (LCGP), and conduct national and regional power transmission planning studies based on existing national models as well as the Black Sea Transmission Planning (BSTP) regional models. The project will seek to develop SRIE’s capacities to perform as an electric transmission center of excellence for the region.

Assistance to the Energy Sector – supports Armenia’s regional integration, regional market development, and harmonization of Armenian energy technical standards with European requirements.

Assistance to the Energy Sector (Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) – supports Armenia’s energy security and power system integration with and via Georgia by assisting in the development of a least-cost generation plan for energy investments, building the capacity of government institutions and improving the regulatory and business environment to promote investment in the energy sector.

Last updated: August 11, 2014

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