Affordable and Clean Energy
Fossil fuels have shaped 20th-century economies, conflicts, and climate change. With renewable technologies, the 21st century gives us an alternative to creating a safer and cleaner world. Think about Armenia.
Around 70 percent of Armenia’s electricity generation is dependent on imported fuels. Transition to renewable energy has many benefits. First, the industry of renewables can become a source for clean, independent energy and opportunity for job creation and technology export. Second, the use of renewable energy is necessary to meet Paris Agreement goals adopted by Armenia as well to avoid 1.5C warming since preindustrial times.
The is the goal of The Distrikt – to be a 100% energy independent community and emit 0% pollution. Locating ourselves in Gyumri, we accelerate the implementation of the Gyumri Green City Action Plan. However, our mission goes further – we aim to create a model of sustainable community to be replicated throughout the world.
The Distrikt to be powered with all clean, renewable and safe energy
Being clean is not enough
Avoiding 1.5C warming requires no less than an 80% conversion of the energy infrastructure to zero-emitting energy by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
Clean energy sources are not polluting the air with fossil fuel emission, however, some of them have other side effects. For example, hydroelectricity has a negative environmental impact on the water ecosystem. Nuclear energy is risky in seismic zones.
The most optimal options that will be applied in The Distrikt are biogas, geothermal heat, and solar electricity and heat.
Why solar energy?
Armenia receives 1,720-kilowatt-hours per square meter of sunlight every year, compared to an average of 1,000 in Europe.
Sun is a great resource for energy and heat with the use of solar panels and solar water heaters. We will use solar energy for the electricity and heating in The Distrikt buildings and for powering the local electric shuttle.
Biogas: turning waste to energy
In 2016, the waste sector emissions accounted for 4% of Armenia’s total emissions and were generated in open landfills. 90% of methane emissions from enteric fermentation are attributable to cattle.
Instead of realized into the open air, the methane emissions from landfills and animal manure can be converted to energy in the biogas plants.
Biogas will be one of the main sources of energy for residential buildings and greenhouses in The Distrikt.
The Distrikt neighborhood plans to meet the strategy of passive design, which carefully models and balances a comprehensive set of factors including heat emissions from appliances and occupants to keep the building at comfortable and consistent indoor temperatures throughout the heating and cooling seasons. Within the project, we will design and build passive houses and other buildings in accordance with these five building-science principles:
- Continuous insulation throughout its entire envelope without any thermal bridging.
- Airtight building envelope, preventing infiltration of outside air and loss of conditioned air.
- High-performance windows (double or triple-paned windows depending on climate and building type) and doors – solar gain is managed to exploit the sun’s energy for heating purposes in the heating season and to minimize overheating during the cooling season.
- Balanced heat- and moisture-recovery ventilation.
- Minimal space conditioning system.
Geothermal heating and cooling
One option of sustainable energy is right below our feet taking advantage of the earth’s constant underground temperature nearly 10 meters below the surface. Geothermal heat pumps could provide more than 4 terawatt-hours (TWh) of capacity annually, which is nearly four times Armenia’s current heat generation based on natural gas and oil.
Geothermal heat pumps will be deployed in The Distrikt to heat, cool, and supply hot water to buildings and greenhouses by transferring heat to or from the ground.
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
The Distrikt contributes to the SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy. The goal is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
Energy-efficient technologies and materials can be widely deployed given, among other conditions, the right governance and policy environments, functioning markets and access to financing. →