Sustainable Energy Academy 2017: Renewable Energy in Your Community

YEREVAN, Armenia – On November 25, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment hosted the concluding conference of the Sustainable Energy Academy 2017, organized in cooperation with the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and dedicated to the theme “Renewable Energy in Your Community.”

More than 110 participants attended the conference, including representatives from UNDP, GIZ, Yerevan Municipality, ministries, local government officials, and financial institutions. The agenda of the event included presentations of project proposals by academy workshop participants, as well as presentations by a number of thought provoking and informative speakers. Project proposals were presented by the workshop participants through posters and brief pitches (in total 17 presentations).

The list of speakers included Dr. Andreas Wieg, head of the National Office for Energy Cooperatives at the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation, who gave a talk on Germany’s experience in energy transition, highlighting that the German government has set an ambitious target to achieve 80% of electricity generation from renewable sources by 2050. Dr. Wieg discussed the role of local communities in this energy transition. Representatives of the Yerevan Municipality, Ministry of Nature Protection and different institutions in Armenia also gave talks to discuss the latest developments in the field of sustainable energy in Armenia.

The academy also covered topics devoted to promoting energy resilience and independence in communities by investing in renewable energy and energy efficient solutions at the household and community level.

Within the framework of the academy, three regional workshops were organized in different cities of Armenia, each representing a different region (north, central and south Armenia) – Vanadzor, Ararat, and Kapan. The workshops taught know-how on taking advantage of laws, technologies, and organizational approaches that could help households and communities become more energy secure through the use of energy efficiency solutions and renewable energy generation. The workshops were tailored for different target groups, including marz and local-government officials, electricity utility providers, energy solution vendors, university students and young professionals.

The regional workshops had more than 100 participants from different communities of Armenia. Following these workshops, 25 project proposals were submitted by participants from different communities. The proposals included a wide range of solutions, including building energy efficiency, municipal lighting, application of renewable energy resources in different sectors, waste-to energy, awareness raising, as well as other topics.

The long-term aim of the academy is to create a community of young professionals and students who are equipped to promote and implement sustainable energy solutions at the building, district/community, and national levels.

A video of the concluding conference can be found here.

The list of speakers and presentations can be found here.

For more information, please visit http://ace.aua.am/sea/year2017.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE), a research center at the American University of Armenia, promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA ACE’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy, and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment.