April 14, 2011 -- Over 40 Armenian companies showcased their products and services at the IFC-sponsored Armenia Energy Efficiency Expo 2011, helping businesses, especially SMEs, to reduce their energy consumption, cut costs, and increase profitability.
“Since ours is a small business, we cannot afford a large advertising campaign and the expo helped us a lot to reach our potential clients,” said Karen Asatryan, executive director of Arevas, a new Armenian company that imports solar technology that can help small businesses save about 20-30 percent on energy costs.
Armenia has no oil or gas reserves, and imports around two-thirds of its energy resources. This created a need for energy-efficiency solutions. However, Armenian industry underestimates the potential savings related to energy efficiency on average by more than 70 percent, according to the IFC report Energy Efficiency: A New Source for Sustainable Growth.
To address this challenge, the IFC Armenia Sustainable Energy Finance Project organized Armenia Energy Efficiency Expo 2011.
“When enterprises use old or obsolete equipment, they have higher operating costs and energy expenditures, and also contribute to climate change,” said Thomas Lubeck, IFC Principal Investment Officer. “Our priority is to help Armenian companies become more energy efficient and competitive, thereby helping increase energy self-sufficiency of the country.”
Arevas, whose name is rooted with the Armenian word for sun, offers small businesses such as bakeries, private hotels, and restaurants innovative, energy-efficient equipment that serves as a sustainable pollution-free alternative to coal and gas.
“Armenia is well-regarded for its warm climate and up to 300 sunny days in a year, but we are not using this important natural resource to its full potential,” said Asatryan. ”I hope that this IFC initiative will grow into an annual event, involving new participants both from Armenia and overseas.”
For many small and medium enterprises, the Expo was a unique opportunity to learn about the latest energy-efficiency technologies and products, as well as for the vendors to network with potential customers.