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Energy Efficiency is one of the four priorities for EU – Armenia cooperation until 2020 and beyond. Reasons for this are simple: energy efficiency is part of our shared vision under Paris commitments; it provides for a strong business case to boost the economy; and ultimately, it is key to energy security and keeping citizens' bills under control. EU is the largest single donor in Armenia and energy efficiency is part of the new EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement and Partnership Priorities. The EU has been and will continue supporting energy efficiency measures in Armenia, including to the 21 signatory municipalities of Covenant of Mayors and more than 6000 households which have benefited from EU-funded projects. EU's political commitment to this priority is well reflected in EU support to the Eastern Partnership countries: since 2014 the EU has contributed some € 200 million in grants to improve energy efficiency through new policy and infrastructure investments. In Armenia, this has translated into more than 10 programmes providing over EUR 30million in funding for energy efficiency, reaching thousands of Armenians.
EU Sustainable Energy Week (4-8 June 2018) is the annual flagship event uniting policy makers, authorities, industry, stakeholders, NGOs, researchers and academia in the European sustainable energy sector. EUSEW debates energy policy, creates networking opportunities and spreads the word about the latest developments on the sustainable energy market and in research. The theme of this year's EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is 'lead the clean energy transition’.
EU last week supported EU for Armenia's Sustainable Energy, EU4Yerevan Solar Community and Yerevan Energy Efficiency project. The one-week initiative aimed at raising awareness among citizens, private and public institutions, business sector, civil society representatives and youth about renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy security, sustainability and diversity in Armenia, as well as endorsed launch of a number of new EU-funded sustainable energy initiatives.
On June 4, in the framework of the “EU for Armenia’s Sustainable Energy” (EU4ASEP) Program, an EU4Energy Project implemented by Energy Saving Foundation and the Union of Communities of Armenia, the "Sustainable Energy Week" launched with an exposition of sustainable energy technologies and youth intellectual quests and flashmobs in Aparan, Aragatsotn Province, attracting hundreds of people and dozens of potential clients, who met the solar technology vendors for the first time! The SEW continued on June 5 in Artik where the over 100 local youth performed in a concert, participated in an art contest on solar energy topic, danced in flashmobs and played intellectual games about sustainable energy transition. The last EU4ASEP event of the SEW was held on June 6 in Yerevan with a conference on "Sustainable Energy Development Prospects in the Communities of Armenia", which took place within the framework of the Energy Efficient Communities’ Forum. The conference addressed the current legal-regulatory, technical and institutional capacity gaps, need for investment finance for further promotion of sustainable energy projects in Armenia’s communities. The EU4ASEP project will aim to address those barriers during the next three years of the project term, which building local capacities and working with the Aparan and Artik Communities to develop local solar energy systems.
The Sustainable Energy Week continued on June 7 with the kick-off meeting of the Steering Committee of the new EU-funded initiative “EU for Yerevan Solar Community”, followed by a seminar with the involvement of potential condominium stakeholders to discuss the implementation details of the EU4Yerevan Solar Community Project. This 2-year project aims to construct nearly 90 rooftop solar photovoltaic systems on multi-apartment buildings to cover the common energy needs of the indoor and outdoor space lighting and elevators.
Finally, the conclude the full week of outreach events on sustainable energy, on June 8 the European Union, European Investment Bank (EIB), the Eastern European Energy Efficiency and Environmental Partnership (E5P) and the United Nations Development Program/ Green Climate Fund (UNDP/GCF) gathered for “One day at Kindergarten” at the municipal kindergarten #110, which is one of the 150 kindergartens that will undergo energy efficiency retrofitting in the next three years, with the first sub-sovereign IFI loan extended by EIB to Yerevan Municipality, and grant co-financing by E5P and UNDP/GCF. The EIB and E5P marked the SEW2018 with signing of the E5P grant agreement in the amount of EUR 5 million to support the implementation of energy efficiency improvements in combination with renewable energy technologies, enhanced seismic resilience and accessibility of kindergartens.
Enforcement of the adopted legislation, multi-apartment buildings with significant potential to benefit from energy efficiency reforms and investments, investments on public buildings to alleviate the energy cost burden on public budgets, innovative financing models emerged as priority areas where further action would help to scale up investments and develop a market for energy efficiency.
The EU believes that the conditions are in place and awareness raising is crucial to achieve behavioural changes, and so contribute to unlocking the market potential, which is significant for Armenia.