By Swann Bigot, for Eurasia Network – October 10, 2018

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Wind turbines, May 2017 – Photo credit : Swann Bigot

The company Vetroenergetika (managing the Wind Energy Development Fund established by Fortum and Rusnano) and the Government of the Republic of Kalmykia signed a cooperation agreement related to the construction of 450 MW of wind power capacities by 2021, revealed a press release of corporation Rusnano.

The document which defines the general principles of the cooperation was signed by Alexey Orlov, Head of the Republic of Kalmykia and Alexander Chuvaev, General Director of the company Vetroenergetika. Investments will be made on the basis of future individual decisions.

Kalmykia was one of the pioneers in the establishment of wind power in Russia, having developed its own program for a new type of generation capacities back in the 2000’s. We welcome the efforts of the leadership of Kalmykia to develop this promising sector in the region and we expect that these plans can be successfully implemented in close cooperation with the Wind Energy Development Fund”, commented Alisher Kalanov, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company Vetroenergetika.

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Developing our own energy industry is a priority. I am convinced that our cooperation will expand and soon, I hope, we will see the first results” said Alexey Orlov, the Head of the Republic of Kalmykia.

The Republic of Kalmykia has a great natural potential for using renewable energy sources, in particular regarding wind energy. We are confident that thanks to active joint work with the regional government in Kalmykia, we will create one of the centres of development of wind power in Russia” added Alexander Chuvaev, General Director of the company Vetroenergetika.

The company Vetroenergetika also signed a cooperation agreement in December 2017 with the authorities of the Rostov oblast, where it plans to build 600 MW of wind power by 2021.

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The Republic of Kalmykia is located in the south of the Volga, on the shores of the Caspian Sea. With a population of 275,390 inhabitants as of January 2018, this subject of the Russian Federation is the only region in Europe where Buddhism is the most practiced religion. The climate of Kalmykia is arid, sharply continental. Its territory is a semi-desert plain. Production of agricultural products is the main sector of the regional economy. Leading industries are oil and gas, electricity generation, mechanical engineering and food processing.

The gross regional product grew by 16.6% over the 2014-2016 period and amounted to 55.2 billion rubles (727.5 million euros), according to the Ministry of Economy and Trade of Kalmykia.

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Besides, thanks to the location of Kalmykia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, the Republic has the potential to become a logistic hub on the New Silk Road, a large economic and trade project aimed at linking Eastern Asia and Europe and initiated by China in 2013. Regional trade may also be boosted by the recent agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea reached last August by Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.

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