Expert Accuses Armenian Authorities of Preventing Development of Solar Energy

Solar panels atop the United Nations House building in Yerevan (Source: UNDP Armenia)
Solar panels atop the United Nations House building in Yerevan (Source: UNDP Armenia)

Solar panels atop the United Nations House building in Yerevan (Source: UNDP Armenia)

YEREVAN (ARKA)—Head of the Solar Technology Lab, Jozef Panosyan, has accused Armenian authorities of impeding the development of solar energy in the country without elaborating on the reasons why.

“I believe that the government should play a focal role in the development of solar energy, however the authorities are impeding this process. In Armenia there are many entrepreneurs who are ready to import solar energy panels from China, where they are quite cheap,” Panosyan said at a news conference.

“Traditional energy sources, which pose huge environmental dangers, will soon be exhausted. Increasing temperature leads to the melting of the ice cover of the Earth. This process will continue in the future since carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere contributes to the greenhouse effect,” Panosyan said.

He stressed that the only solution to this problem is replacing traditional sources of energy with renewable ones, which will help prevent the negative impact of climate change on Armenia.

“The most effective of them are the solar, wind, hydro and other forms of energy. In our laboratory we have developed solar panels which convert solar energy into electrical energy. Such photovoltaic devices are the most promising,” said Panosyan.

According to experts, Armenia has great potential for solar energy resources. The annual rate of solar energy collection per 1 square meter of flat surface is 1,720 kWh in Armenia, while in Europe the average is 1000 kWh.


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  1. Random Armenian said:

    Renewable sources will not replace all of Armenia’s energy needs but they can be a great way to supplement it. Solar hot water and solar panels could be a great way to meet energy needs in rural areas. All sources, from nuclear, to hydro to solar have their advantages and drawbacks but they can all be used smartly.

    Solar hot water for example would be a great way to provide for hot water and heating for rural schools in winter.

  2. Harout Chekijian said:

    No one denies the benefits of solar energy, but let us not get carried away. I would like to point out the following:
    1. Armenia already extensively uses hydro power (Vorodan and Sevan) since 1946 which now can deliver the total capacity of 40% of Armenia electric power if properly maintained and annual rainfall is within requirements.
    2. The best commercially available non-concentrating photovoltaic cell efficiency is around 24% which is quite expensive. I assume that the cheap Chinese panels Jozef Panossian is referring to has a maximum efficiency of around 14%. That is to say 14% of the 1720 kWh solar energy can be converted to electrical energy which is 240.8 kWh per meter square per year.
    3. On a country wide basis such a low efficiency is not viable at all.
    4. In 2006 atomic and hydro energy accounted for 76% of Armenia electric power. Only 24% relied on natural gas, which is the least pollutant compared to coal and oil.
    In conclusion, homeowners and enterprises rather than the energy sector, can definitely benefit from solar energy specially for domestic hot water needs which is about 67% efficient.
    Harout Chekijian
    SOLARCRAFT Lebanon

    • Random Armenian said:


      Are you in the solar and renewable industry? How viable do you think it would be for Armenia to produce the PV and solar heating systems instead of importing? I’m not familiar with the technical issues nor the business side of things, but I’m guessing it would be easier to produce the solar hot water systems in Armenia and PV. The reason I reason I ask is, if any of this is viable, it would be good for the Armenian and even exports.

      • Harout Chekijian said:

        1. Yes I am, since 1980 mainly manufacturing solar hot water systems.
        2. My short answer is yes, for any industry in Armenia, regardless of commercial viability, because we have to have the capability to be self sufficient in all areas of industry. A slightly smaller country like Cyprus has a PV manufacturing enterprise.
        3. According to some of my acquaintances in Armenia and Artsakh, during the cold months, they pay about US$250 per month for hot water alone, which is higher than most peoples’ monthly salary.In two or three years they recover the cost of the installation, and have free hot water during the life of the equipment (up to 30 years).
        4. I know of several individuals and enterprises that use both photovoltaic (PV) and thermal solar energy, like the eco-village in Keghatir.
        5. I definitely and strongly recommend manufacturing and installing solar domestic hot water systems in Armenia. For a four person family a 3 meter square solar panel is enough to deliver hot water for about 9 months, the rest of the year assisted with electrical or gas back-up power for dark cloudy days. To get equivalent energy from common PV systems, about 15 meter square panels are required. Very expensive and too much area on the roof.
        Harout Chekijian
        Presently in Yerevan

        • Random Armenian said:

          Thank you for your answers.

          A system which pays itself off in 3 years is a good investment.

          $250/month for heating is a lot in Armenia!

          Have you met or heard of any Armenian government resistance to solar power?

  3. Dr James Wolter (USA) said:

    Zhozef Will you please contact me? We met on an airplane a few years ago – you were traveling from Sandia Labs.
    I have developed important solar technology I wish for you to see … Google: US Patent 9136732
    Are you still interested in DLC? I have an application I wish to discuss.
    Dr. Jim Wolter