The closing seminar of the EU-funded Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP) project "AREVADZOR – Enhancing SME competitiveness through promotion and wider use of sustainable innovative technologies” took place on 4 December in Armenia. Andrea Baggioli, International Aid and Cooperation Officer of the EU Delegation to Armenia was among those who attended the event.
The total budget for the project, which lasted 3 years, was €2,084,951.71, with the EU contributing €1,500,000. The project aimed to foster employment in the central part of the Vayots Dzor Marz province by improving the competitiveness of SMEs in tourism through the adoption and use of renewable energy sources and efficient energy practices.
With the support of the project, a solar photovoltaic power plant (1MW) managed by a public–private partnership (local authorities and private bed and breakfasts) was constructed, producing clean energy to meet the needs of the region all year round. The revenue received was reinvested in the development of the tourism sector. In addition, hospitality businesses were granted solar thermal panels to produce hot water. Regular energy checks on tourism businesses resulted in lower energy consumption and helped service providers to offer better accommodation to tourists. The project created 40 new jobs in the area.
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