MINISTRY OF ENERGY OF RUSSIA: WE ARE SEEING A “JUMP-START” IN RENEWABLE ENERGY
A panel session “Renewable energy sources. On the path to low-carbon energy” was held at ECOTECH 2nd International Exhibition and Forum.
Oleg Pluzhnikov, Development Director, National Carbon Sequestration Foundation, opened the discussion by citing figures on renewable energy sources for Russia and for the world in general. For instance, in 2016, renewable energy sources accounted for two-thirds of the world’s power capacity increase.
The International Energy Agency predicts a growth of 3.5–5% in renewable energy by 2040.
Russia’s systemic policy in the area has resulted in 14 major solar power plants with a total capacity of about 130 MW being commissioned in the last two years alone. Several more solar power plants with a total capacity of 125 MW are scheduled for commissioning in 2017. “Thus, Russia is experiencing, if not entirely a boom in renewable energy, then at least definitely an increase in interest in renewable energy sources”, Pluzhnikov stressed.
Expert assessments state that, given the current pace of extracting available global carbon resources, coal resources will be exhausted in 109 years, natural gas in 54 years and oil in 53 years.
Alexander Mitreikin, Deputy Head of the Department of State Energy Policy at the Ministry of Energy of Russia, noted that, over the last few years, Russia has “jump-started” development of renewable energy sources.
“Given Russian and global trends, given strategic programme documents, we may conclude that part of the future of the fuel and energy complex will belong to renewable energy”, he said.
During the discussion, Mr. Mitreikin dwelled on some tendencies of relevance for Russia. “First, it is a hard fact that we are rich in hydrocarbons and carbons. It is obvious that traditional energy sources will play a major role and dominate the FEC for a long time to come, but this is not at variance with global tendencies”, he continued. “If we look at any forecast of the world energy sector’s future, we see that, up until the mid-21st century, traditional sources will form the basis of the global economy.”
In Russia, the situation will mirror the global one, as is borne out by Russia’s various programme documents on energy through to 2035.
Among the current trends, Mr. Mitreikin also noted the increase in commissioned solar power plants. “I would like to remind you that, in 2014–2016, renewable energy plants with a total capacity of about 130 MW were built and commissioned. Mostly, these were solar power plants. This year, construction was concluded on plants with a total capacity of about 140 MW. We expect record capacities of 2.2 GW to be commissioned by 2022”, he noted.
Andrey Pokhozhaev, Managing Director for Advanced Project Development at RUSNANO, said that the company and its partners, pursuant to competition in renewable energy projects in 2016-2017, essentially holds the key position in Russia.
“Partnerships involving RUSNANO in various capacities are implementing solar power projects with a total capacity of over 1,100 MW, and wind power projects with a capacity of 1,000 MW,” he specified. He reminded his audience that, jointly with Fortum, RUSNANO had established a wind power development fund with RUB 30 bn in investment and a portfolio of projects with a capacity of 1,000 MW.
“The fund plans to construct wind farms in various Russian regions: in the Rostov Region, in the Ulyanovsk Region, in the south of Russia, in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Regions, and elsewhere”, Pokhozhayev said.
He also noted that Russia today is already manufacturing equipment and components for commissioning renewable energy power plants with a capacity of between 1 and 1.5 GW annually. “I think that, proceeding from current power generation, one might approximately forecast the market volume to be maintained for enterprises to be competitive and busy, for Russian producers to become suppliers in global chains”, Pokhozhayev summarized.
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