Russia-2060: Perspectives of Green Energy
Unlike most countries, Russia possesses unquestionable advantages when it comes to achieving carbon neutrality; however, a set of measures needs to be drawn up in order to ensure this is done as effectively as possible
“As a country – as an industry – our objective is to draw up a set of measures to achieve these aims [carbon neutrality – ed.] as cheaply and as economically efficiently as possible, so as to not place an additional burden on consumers or the national economy. In terms of energy, it’s essential to look at both changing the energy mix, and possible offsetting measures. These include carbon capture and storage on a large scale,” Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
“A great deal has been done in recent years to enable the Russian Federation to take a big step forward in attaining carbon neutrality. <...> We have a good starting point, as has already been mentioned, and the Russian Federation has a very sound generation infrastructure. Around 40% of electric power is produced by wind, solar, nuclear, and hydro power plants. Gas generation makes up the remaining 60%. Gas generation is fairly clean when compared to other forms, and not that much generation in the country comes from coal, so we can be proud of our statistics. The country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions are around 314 kg per MWh, which is lower than Germany’s, lower than the USA’s, and naturally, lower than China’s. It is significantly lower than in the G20 countries,” Alexandra Panina, Member of the Management Board, Inter RAO; Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Council of Power Producers.
Difficulties in sharing experience and making calculations can hinder efforts to achieve carbon neutrality
“The main thing is that countries have to share their experience. For example, if we look at Europe, there is a choice in terms of policy, the impact of the climate, and carbon pricing. <...> This is a difficult task facing the people responsible for developing policy,” Angela Wilkinson, Secretary General, Chief Executive Officer, World Energy Council (WEC).
“There is a very large segment involving working with verifiers [specially authorized bodies or organizations responsible for confirming the volume of emissions – ed.] and our partners in the West in order to ensure that what we are doing does not go unnoticed. <...> We are also faced with a major undertaking in terms of making calculations and mapping facilities,” Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
Increasing the share of nuclear and hydropower in the energy mix in order to achieve carbon neutrality, and implementing new projects in the regions
“There is a realization that in order to achieve these aims, there will be a move towards increasing the share of nuclear power in the energy mix and reducing coal generation. <...> This will accordingly mean that the low-carbon energy sources in our energy mix will increase above the current level, because the share of renewable energy sources will grow,” Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation.
“Russia’s biggest advantage is its untapped hydropower potential. If you look at countries across the globe, at global experience, it becomes apparent that the countries with the lowest carbon dioxide emissions are the ones who have chosen to focus on the development of traditional hydropower. <...> These include Norway, Brazil, and the USA. The USA has unlocked 78% of its potential in hydropower. In Europe, this figure is 71%. <...> Hydropower brings with it enormous benefits, both directly, and indirectly in terms of reducing CO2 emissions. In addition, it fulfils the main objective of the energy sector – to offer a reliable energy supply and meet growing demand for electric power,” Roman Berdnikov, First Deputy General Director, Member of the Management Board, RusHydro.
“We signed an agreement with Rusnano at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June this year. The agreement covers a range of comprehensive pilot schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of the agreement, we intend to implement a pilot project to establish a carbon-free zone in Ulyanovsk Region in the form of a carbon polygon. We also signed an agreement with Vershina Development and Sberbank at the Forum to create Russia’s first active energy complex that uses renewable energy sources. We have several special economic zones in our region. In one such zone, we intend to build a complex where 50% of the energy will be [produced – ed.] using wind generators, and 50% using gas generators. This will ensure power for all resident companies operating in the zone. Currently, we have two wind farms with a total capacity of 85 MW – that’s around 7–8% of the region’s consumption. In addition, there are plans to build more wind farms with a capacity of 150 MW. An agreement has already been signed and planning is at the advanced stages. In fact, work on the project has already begun. What’s more, we will produce around 100 MW using solar panels,” Alexei Russkikh, Governor of Ulyanovsk Region.
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