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 reforms that have increased transparency, accountability and self-reliance. However, Armenia still faces challenges in sourcing and managing both its energy and water, and its energy efficiency is below the global average. The country is among the most dependent on energy imports relative to usage in Europe and Eurasia, including oil as well as gas and uranium used by the nuclear and thermal power plants.
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 infrastructure, including the Metsamor nuclear power plant that generates 42% of the country’s electricity.
In recent years, USAID has provided 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.
Going forward, USAID will continue to support Armenia to consolidate and advance reforms in energy and water management in order to make them sustainable and efficient. USAID will assist in strengthening cooperation and energy integration with neighboring Georgia and the region. Assistance will also target energy market reforms in Armenia and development of renewables to improve the country’s energy resilience.
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.
The Advanced Science and Partnerships for Integrated Resource Development (ASPIRED) project is designed to support sustainable water resource management and sustainable practices of water use through the use of science, technology, innovation and partnerships (STIP) approaches. The goal is to reduce the rate of groundwater extraction in the Ararat Valley to sustainable levels.
Last updated: January 12, 2016