Russia: Leadership Working Toward Enabling Industrial And Household Level Production Of Renewable Energies

Spotlight Activity: Leadership Working Toward Enabling Industrial And Household Level Production Of Renewable Energies

During his speech earlier this year, Deputy Director of the Department of Electric Power Industry Development of the Ministry of Energy of Russia was reported as saying that the Russian Federation is consistently ranked among the five leading countries in the world in terms of electricity production, while in accordance with the structure of the installed capacity of Russian power plants as of 01.01.2019, thermal power plants account for 67.7% of the installed capacity, hydroelectric power stations – 19.9%, nuclear power plants – 12%, wind power stations – 0.3%, solar power plants – 0.08%. (https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/14469)

According to the policy pursued by the Government of the Russian Federation to support the development of the electric power industry operating on renewable energy “has made it possible to achieve significant growth rates in the production of electric energy using renewable energy sources” (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, March 25, 2019). The one-year growth rate of electricity generation, between 2017 and 2018, was 42%; however, the renewable energy sector consists of less than 1% of the country’s energy portfolio (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, March 25, 2019). 

First Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Alexey Texler, said although the overall share of power generated from renewable energy sources is minimal, Russia’s energy balance is one of the cleanest in the world: “The share of coal in the energy balance of our country is only 15%, in China this figure is more than 65%, in Europe a little lower than 30%, in the USA a little more than 30%”. 

He continues by saying that, comparatively among the top energy producers in the world that use non-renewable energy sources, Russia’s energy portfolio consists of 50% of energy produced from gas, “which is twice as environmentally friendly as coal and 1.5 times more than fuel oil” (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, March 12, 2019). 

Figure 3 IEA World Energy Balances. Complete Energy Balances for over 150 Countries and Regions. https://www.iea.org.statistis/balances/

At the forum “National Ecology Project: Tasks of Business and the State at the RSPP Russian Business Week Conference”, Texler stated that the country is implementing a whole range of measures to reduce the anthropogenic load of the fuel and energy complex on the environment: “To this end, we are taking steps to introduce the best available technologies, utilize associated petroleum gas emissions, expand the use of renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly energy resources – primarily natural gas” (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, March 12, 2019).

Figure 4 IEA Global Engagement. Russia. https://www.iea.org/countries/Russia/

Progress

The deputies of the State Duma (the lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly, the highest legal force in Russia) unanimously adopted in the first reading a draft law developed by the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation “On Electric Power Generation” regarding the development of micro-generation (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, February 6, 2019). The document was presented by State Secretary – Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Anastasia Bondarenko, who, in her report, stated that the bill was developed to stimulate the development of small-scale renewable energy generation facilities with an installed capacity of up to 15 kW (typically estimated at being able to power a small home: appliances, family room, home office, kitchen and laundry room).

The adoption of the bill will simplify the procedure for placing micro-generation facilities, and provide their owners with the opportunity to sell surplus generated electricity in retail markets. “An object of micro-generation is an object for the production of electricity, which also operates on the basis of renewable energy sources, which include solar, wind, water energy with a maximum power of up to 15 kW. Examples are solar panels installed on roofs of houses, ”said Anastasia Bondarenko, contributing to the development of distributed generation in the country, meet the goals set by the May decree of the President of the Russian Federation, work to improve the reliability of energy systems, and will also smooth out peak hours of consumption and reduce energy costs (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, February 6, 2019). 

Also this year, Russia continues its initiative under cooperative activities with Japan which includes research into the use of renewable energy sources (The Seventh Meeting of the Russian-Japanese consultative Energy council, Department of Energy, 2019).

During the Conference “Risk Management in the Energy Sector – 2019”, which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, during which the Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation of Russia’s Ministry of Energy, Alexander Tolparov, attended, emphasized the necessity of depoliticizing processes in the energy sector, enhancing technological cooperation in the field of clean consumption of fossil fuels, and continuing the search for joint approaches to risk management in the energy sector during major international projects (Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, May 28, 2019)

Status: Right Direction

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A leadership that is working toward enabling the industrial production of renewable energies as well as enabling small-scale, household-level production of renewable energy will, hopefully, catalyze the private sector to find improved ways to capitalize on renewable energy production, making it cheaper and bringing down the remaining barriers in the transition away from fossil fuels. The Russian Federation, being a leading producer of energy and exporting large shares of it to neighboring countries, can become a great global asset in both renewable energy production and a leading example for transitioning consumers, private sector and governmental leadership to cleaner energy production. 

Additional Reading:

Power Technology. 2014. Energy In the East – the ten biggest power stations in Russia. https://www.power-technology.com/features/featureenergy-in-the-east-the-ten-biggest-power-stations-in-russia-4303508/ 

Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, 2019, Pyotr Boblyev Attends 10th International Forum “Ecology”:  https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/14469

Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, 2019. Alexey Teksler: “Russia’s Energy Balance is One of the Cleanest in the World”. https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/14206

Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, February 6, 2019. State Duma in its First Reading of the Draft Project on the Establishment of Micro-scale Energy Production. https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/13881

The Seventh Meeting of the Russian-Japanese consultative Energy council, Department of Energy, 2019 https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/15180.

The Ministry of Energy of Russia Participates in the National Conference “Risk Management in the Energy Sector”. Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation, May 28, 2019. https://minenergo.gov.ru/node/14892 

IEA Global Engagement. Russia. https://www.iea.org/countries/Russia/

IEA World Energy Balances. Complete Energy Balances for over 150 Countries and Regions. https://www.iea.org.statistis/balances/

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