Alternative Power: Iran Shows Interest In Armenian Solar Energy Device

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Alternative Power: Iran Shows Interest In Armenian Solar Energy Device

By Gayane Mkrtchyan

ArmeniaNow reporter - 10/7/2014

The Akhtamar solar device invented by the Armenian scientist is the alternative for Armenia, which has limited energy resources of its own, and for solving future energy-related problems. The Armenian government, however, does not seem to pay due attention to the device, meanwhile, Armenia has to rely on Russian natural gas.

"I personally started solar technology development 21 years ago, hoping to solve emerging energy and ecology problems in the world," says the inventor of Akhtamar, doctor of technological sciences, Professor Vahan Hamazaspyan.
The scientist mentions that the energy problem in the country will be impossible to solve in 50 years, but with the help of Akhtamar it is possible to get a large amount of cheap electricity. The device costs a $1,000 and can provide electricity for 50 years.
On July 7, Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Mohammad Raiesi visited Hamazaspyan to see Akhtamar. After the meeting the ambassador mentioned that there are a number of companies working on solar energy in Iran, these companies want to cooperate with Armenian companies. He mentioned that oil- and gas-rich Iran realizes that that the future belongs to this branch, it has a big potential and currently Iran realizes wide-scale research in the field.
"Considering depleting sources of oil and gas we pay special attention to the development of alternative, especially solar energy sources, and in that sense this device is interesting and has a good future," the ambassador said. "We will follow up so that one of Iranian companies visits and discusses an investment program."
Hamazaspyan, also the co-chief of the Armenia-Iran Scientific and Industrial Cooperation Organization, mentioned that he has worked with around 1,000 scientists along the way of creating the device, Akhtamar has been ready for mass production for already a year, but it still cannot get the government permission and Armenian officials' statements about alternative energy development are not put to practice.
"I've turned to the government several times, and I wrote a letter to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan recently, trying to display the results of my invention, but instead of the PM someone from the Ministry of Economy met me and the meeting came down only to a conversation," he said.
The scientist mentioned that if Akhtamar is put into wide use it will firstly impact electricity producing and gas importing companies' work - they will be deprived of the most part of their incomes, thus alternative energy is ignored.
With the solar batteries of Akhtamar it will be possible to receive solar energy, heat flats, create thermal stations, run various agricultural programs as a result. The serial production cost is estimated to be $100/1kW/hour. Hamazaspyan mentioned that a base factory will cost eight million dollars.
Ambassador Raiesi's visit, as well as the agreement of future cooperation was evaluated by some media as a political step with which Iran keeps on sending 'messages' to Armenian officials.
"In the given case the problem is out of the mere scientific-technological scope, it is already political, when the scientist is visited by the Iranian ambassador. And especially the Iranian ambassador, a country that is tired of sending political 'messages' to Armenia recently, sending indirect but quite transparent and clear invitation of regional economic-political partnership of a new quality to Armenia," writes.
Hamazaspyan mentioned that the news circulating in the media, as if Iran wants to create solar devices because it is fighting against Russian gas, are ungrounded, and the Iranian Embassy was worried that this case is given a political coloring.
"We spoke about creating solar devices. We agreed with the ambassador that we will build a solar device producing factory due to joint efforts of the two countries - for Iran with our technologies, with their money in Armenia, Spitak, with our technologies and their money," the scientist said. "We also discussed the problem of cultivating agricultural products by solar technology. Iran has a huge potential in agricultural field, and if we are able to cultivate agricultural products by Armenian solar technologies and export it to the Russian, American and European markets, Armenia will profit a lot."
Let's remember that at the end of last year the Iranian Ambassador announced that according to barter agreement, Iran is ready to sell gas to Armenia by a special, not international price.
"Iran sells gas to other countries by functioning international prices,

however there are other prices for friend and neighboring countries," the ambassador mentioned.

According to the Iranian INSA agency in May the Iranian Deputy Minister of Energy, Ali Majedy stated that Iran is ready to export gas to Europe through Armenia, mentioning that there are three routes for exporting gas - first, through Turkey, second - Armenia, Georgia and the Black Sea and finally, through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
Earlier, Iranian Minister of Industries and Mining Mohammadreza Nematzadeh said that recently Turkey and Azerbaijan try hard not to allow the gas routes from Iran to run through Armenia. Russia helps them in this question who is interested in preserving the gas burden on Armenia.
Armenia is practically deprived of energy independence. The government handed over to Russia several major energy facilities of strategic significance - Hrazdan HPP's 5th unit, the remaining 20-percent stake in ArmRosgazprom was handed over to Russian Gasprom on account of debts, AEN, a new NPP is going to be built by Russian loans.
By 2018 Russian gas on the Armenian border will cost $189/1,000 cubic meters, although consumers pay $385. According to the latest data from the State Revenues Committee, for example, during the third quarter of last year the gas imported from Iran (within the project of 'gas in return for electricity') cost $181.7/1,000 cubic meters.

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