Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Russia Tells the UN It Wants to Produce More Renewable Energy

Russian president Vladimir Putin surveys the construction of a hydroelectric facility in Eastern Russia. (Photograph Credit: Alexey Druzhinin | Getty) Click to Enlarge.
In a country known for deriving a huge amount of its wealth and economic activity from state-owned oil and gas companies, it may come as a surprise to hear that president Vladimir Putin has been speaking favorably about clean energy lately.  The country’s energy ministry also endorsed a recent report from the International Renewable Energy Association that suggested that Russia has plenty of potential for developing renewables.

There’s certainly plenty of room for improvement.  At the moment, renewables account for only about 3.6 percent of Russia’s energy consumption.  By comparison, the U.S., which is itself a laggard compared to many countries, derives about 10 percent of the energy it consumes from renewable sources.

According to an article in the Financial Times that cites the IRENA report, Russia could expand its renewable portfolio up to 11.3 percent of consumption by 2030.

That would be far from world-beating, but would still require about $15 billion a year in investments, according to IRENA.  Even assuming Putin and his administration are serious about backing up their words with deeds, the financial and political might of the fossil fuel giants Gazprom and Rosneft—which are essentially arms of the Russian government—could make ramping up renewables difficult.

Russia also lacks a national power grid, so it wouldn’t be able to transport energy generated by, say, wind or solar outside of the regions in which they are generated.  This is something that the U.S. struggles with as well, though a revamped grid in Texas has proven that large infrastructure investments can help renewables flourish.

Read more at Russia Tells the UN It Wants to Produce More Renewable Energy

No comments:

Post a Comment