By Eurasia Network – August 30, 2020

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The Russian Wind Power Industry 

==> 120 pages of valuable information and analysis of the Russian wind power market, answering the questions that ask investors and energy companies.

Usually seen as an oil and gas giant, Russia has been supporting the growth of its renewable energy capacities since 2013. The country is modernizing and developing its energy infrastructure and investments are needed more than ever. The Russian renewable energy market offers opportunities for investors, even after the Western sanctions adopted in 2014. Wind farms are designed, built and operated with Russian or foreign investments, using the incentives brought by the federal legislation and benefiting from the support of regional authorities thankful for the job creations and the development of local infrastructure. Wind turbine blades and solar modules are now manufactured in Russia to be used in local projects or exported to foreign markets.

The International Renewable Energy Agency reported that the total installed renewable energy capacity in Russia reached 53.5 gigawatts (GW) by the end of 2015, representing about 20% of the total installed power generation capacity in the country (253 GW). Installed wind power capacities in Russia amounted to 140 MW as of December 2018.

In October 2018, the federal ministry of Energy confirmed the growth of the renewable energy capacities in 2019 and commented :

“[…] the global installed capacity of renewable energy plants in Russia will grow up to about 7.5 GW by 2024. We will reach this target, taking into account the additional generation facilities built in isolated regions and entering the electricity retail market.”

The current renewable energy support program, covering the period 2014-2024, includes 232 projects with a capacity of 5.4 GW. 

An amount of 5.2 GW of renewable energy volumes has been distributed through competitive tenders in Russia, revealed data of 2020 : 1.8 GW of solar power, 3.2 GW of wind power and 170 MW of small hydropower capacities. This growth in capacities is possible thanks to a good wind exposure in regions with available lands. The Russian wind power capacities amounted to 190 MW in 2019. The national wind energy potential is estimated at 1,000 GW.

If the COVID-19 has slowed down some projects since April 2020, parameters favourable to a recovery of the Russian wind power industry are here. Wind energy capacities are still growing thanks to the resilience of operators and regulation authorities.

Following the changing context due to the COVID-19 pandemics, the Russian Federal Government decided in summer 2020 to change the selection rules of projects for the construction of renewable energy power plants under the support program for 2025–2035 period, which amounts to 400 billion rubles (about 4.5 billion EUR).

The Federal Ministry of Energy proposes to choose investment projects at the lowest one-rate price per kilowatt-hour, while the amount of the guaranteed payment will be calculated based on the volume of electricity generated. Regulators believe that this approach would increase the efficiency of renewable energy plants and would allow them to abandon their state support in the future and ease the financial burden for the state budget. 

A new competitive tender under the new regime for renewable energy projects is scheduled at the beginning of 2021. Throughout 2020, the Russian government and business players have been working on the main parameters of the new state program for the 2025-2035 period, approved in autumn 2019.

In spite of the COVID-19 outbreak, the dynamics of development and construction of wind power plants continues in Russia. As of August 2020, the national wind power market appeared to be resilient to the pandemics and its effects on the economy.

The goal of this book is to help professionals and investors interested in the growing wind energy industry in Russia and looking for opportunities.

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