Russian renewable energy potential going unexploited

Renewable energy could account for as much as 11.3 per cent of Russian’s power generation mix by 2030, but has so far remained badly underdeveloped, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Green energy accounts for a paltry 3.6 per cent of the total mix at the present time, and theà‚  politics and over-reliance on its large reserves of fossil fuels are largely responsible for the failure to meet potential.
IRENA, in a recent report entitled Renewable Energy Prospects for the Russian Federation, called for cumulative investments of $300bn in renewable energy up to 2030, or on average $15bn per year between 2010 and 2030.

Although the Russian government is aware of the possibilities for renewable energy in the country, its energy model is in need of transformation if promise is to be fulfilled, according to the FT.

Under its current energy strategy, Russia aims to increase its renewable energy share to only 4.9 per cent by the 2030 timeline which is well below par of the 11.3 per cent aforementioned figure estimated by IRENA.

The Russian oil and gas industry generates about 15 per cent of GDP, 35 per cent of federal budget revenue and 60 per cent of exports.

Rosneft and Gazprom, state-owned oil and gas groups both benefit from government assistance and preferential treatment. In addition, an underdeveloped grid hampers investments in large-scale renewable projects such as wind farms or new hydroelectric stations, which are cost-effective only if enough consumers are close enough.

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