Database "Age and capacity of the Russian power plants"
The database covers about 99% of Russian power plants operating as of 2021. It contains information about the installed capacity of power units of power plants, the period of their commissioning, the main fuel and their location. An important feature of the database is that it contains information specifically on power units, since the power plant itself could have been put into operation decades earlier than its power units. The key sources of the database are the current schemes and long-term development programs (SIPRs) of the electric power industry of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In addition to SIPRs, other regional and city documents related to the development of the electric power industry and data published on the websites of generating companies were used as sources.
The database is available at the link.
Authors: Ksenia Kuznetsova, Tatiana Lanshina, Sophia Strelkova
Last update: 4 October 2021
Report "Russia's wind energy market: potential for new economy development"
In March 2021, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA), in cooperation with the Russia Renewable Energy Development Association (RREDA), the Goal Number Seven Association (GNS), as well as with the governments of the Ulyanovsk and Astrakhan regions, published the report “Russia's wind energy market: potential for new economy development”. The author of the study is Tatiana Lanshina, PhD in Economics, CEO of GNS, senior researcher at RANEPA.
As of the beginning of 2021, more than 1 GW of wind power plants (WPPs) are operating in Russia, of which more than 700 MW were commissioned in 2020, despite all the difficulties and restrictions caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. Globally, 1 GW of wind farm capacity is insignificant - it comprises only 0.15% of the installed wind power in the world. In Russia, wind energy accounts for only 0.4% of the capacity of the entire electric power fleet and 0.13% of electric power generation. Russia is the only major economy in the world in which wind energy is just beginning to take its first steps.
The main obstacle to the development of wind energy in Russia is the insignificant volume of the domestic market guaranteed by the state support program given the actual absence of a climate and environmental agenda in the country. It is necessary to build at least 4 GW of new wind farms in 2025-2035 in Russia, in order to maintain the newly created facilities that manufacture equipment for wind farms, and for progressive technological development, deepening localization and the arrival of new vendors, the construction of 5-13 GW wind farms is required.
The Russian wind energy sector needs further cuts in capital costs, which cannot be achieved without sufficient volumes of the domestic market. Without this it will also be difficult to achieve the development of equipment exports. The high cost of electricity from wind farms in Russia, in turn, is often cited as an explanation for the low quotas for the construction of wind farms. At the same time, electricity from wind farms in Russia is already cheaper than from new coal-fired power plants, and by 2030 it will also be cheaper than electricity from natural gas power facilities. According to estimates made in the the study, the production of 1 kWh of wind power currently costs an average of 6.4 rubles in Russia, or $0.088.
The study focuses on promising market niches for wind energy in Russia, such as retail electricity markets in energy-deficient areas. The production of medium-sized wind turbines has been identified as perspective in order to supply them for domestic and foreign markets. Russian corporate sector starts to demand electricity from renewable energy sources, which is also a new opportunity for wind energy market. In addition, Russia has the potential to become a producer and exporter of renewable electricity, green hydrogen and other low carbon products.
Full text of the study is available in Russian and English at the website of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung.
Report "Unsubsidized solar PV market in Russia: waiting for explosive growth"
In February 2021, GNS and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Moscow released a study "Unsubsidized solar PV market in Russia: waiting for explosive growth". The author of the study is Tatiana Lanshina, PhD in Economics, CEO of GNS, senior researcher at RANEPA.
The detailed study covers trends in the development of solar PV in Russia without state subsidies, the economic specifics of this industry and the prospects for the development of solar PV microgeneration in the country. Special attention is paid to the cases of commissioned facilities for SMEs. The author estimates the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) for solar PV projects in Russia and presents the results in a table and a map.
The study shows that solar PV is already competitive in Russia. At the beginning of 2021, the lowest cost of electric power generation at solar PV power plants in Russia was 3.6 rubles/kWh or 0.05 $/kWh. Such low costs are possible at solar PV power plants with installed capacity of several hundred kilowatts located in regions with relatively high solar insolation. In a number of Russian regions, small and medium-sized enterprises pay more than 7-8 rubles/kWh (0.10-0.11 $/kWh) for electricity from the grid. In this case, the construction of own solar PV power plant allows them to achieve significant cost savings, especially if the generating facility is located in the southern part of Russia.
The most prospective Russian regions in terms of unsubsidized solar PV development are:
— Regions with a high level of solar insolation: Amur Region, Jewish Autonomous Region, Zabaikalsky Region, Primorsky Region, the Altai Republic, the Republic of Buryatia, the Republic of Dagestan, the Republic of Tyva. In these regions, solar PV generation might cost less than 4 rubles/kWh (0.05 $/kWh),
— Regions with expensive grid electricity and relatively high levels of solar insolation, e.g. Rostov Region and Krasnodar Region,
— Regions with relatively low levels of solar insolation and expensive grid electricity for SMEs, e.g. Moscow and Leningrad Regions. Population of these regions has a demand for reducing environmental damage and is prone to innovation, which can be an additional incentive for the development of solar PV industry,
— Regions with a limited access to electricity: the Republics of Kalmykia, Adygea, Altai. In these regions, solar PV generation is often one of the few cost-effective alternatives to electricity from the grid.
According to the study, the main barriers to the development of solar PV industry in Russia are cheap grid electricity for some categories of consumers (in particular, for the population), relatively high initial investment costs for the construction of micro solar PV facilities, the lack of specialized banking products, difficulties with the supply of electricity from micro solar PV plants to the grid, lack of qualified engineers, as well as information barriers (the prevalence of biases regarding solar generation).
Nevertheless, a number of electricity consumers in Russia have already acquired a positive experience of using solar PV plants, which contributes to the horizontal popularization of solar PV energy. Some Russian residents and some small and medium-sized enterprises demand more environmentally friendly technologies, such as solar PV energy. All these factors create an environment for the future rapid development of solar PV energy in Russia.
Full text of the study is available in Russian at the website of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Moscow.
Webinar series "Life after Oil"
From June 17 to August 19, 2020, we held ten live webinars with renewable energy experts for the project "Life after Oil", in cooperation with our colleagues from Ecodefense and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Moscow. ECOCUP Film Festival acted as our social media partner providing for a detailed coverage of the webinars on their social media pages.
The webinars were hosted by Tatiana Lanshina, PhD in Economics, CEO of GNS, senior researcher at RANEPA, and Vladimir Slivyak, co-chairman of the Russian environmental group Ecodefense. Follow the links below to watch all the webinars of the project (in Russian):
1. How to live: energy transition, green energy revolution and the consequences of the pandemic for renewable energy sector
— Alisa Nikulina, Coordinator of the Ecology program of the Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Moscow,
— Andrei Kulakov, Founder of GNS.
2. Oil, permafrost and infinity: the causes and consequences of the diesel leak in Norilsk and the environmental responsibility of companies
— Evgeny Shvarts, Non-Executive Director of Norilsk Nickel,
— Ivan Blokov, Director of the Department for Programs, Research and Expertise at Greenpeace Russia,
— Ali Kerimov, Director of Research center for the study of permafrost "Ecofundament" (Norilsk).
3. Energy Transition in Ukraine: present and future of renewable energy in Ukraine
— Georgy Geletukha, Head of the board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine, member of the board of Global 100RE Ukraine,
— Andrey Konechenkov, Vice-President of the World Wind Energy Association, member of the board of Global 100RE Ukraine.
4. The color of hydrogen: types of hydrogen in energy sector, specifics of its production and transportation
— Andrey Golodnitsky, Ph.D. in Technical Sciences, Deputy CEO and Chief Engineer of InEnergy Group of companies,
— Vladimir Sidorovich, Ph.D. in Economics, Director of the Information and analytical center "New Energy".
5. Kuzbass without coal: coal regions and international experience of their economic diversification
— Tatiana Mitrova, Ph.D. in Economics, Director of the Energy Center of SKOLKOVO Business School,
— Mikhail Yulkin, CEO of the Center for Environmental Investments, Founder and CEO of CarbonLab,
— Anton Lementuev, Regional Coordinator of the Russian environmental organization Ecodefense in Kuzbass.
6. Wind for money: types of financial support for renewable energy projects in Russia
— Stanislav Sirot, Partner of Baker McKenzie Chicago Office,
— Roman Ishmukhametov, Lawyer at Baker McKenzie St. Petersburg Office.
7. A lot of gas from nothing: operation and development of Russian landfill gas and biogas power plants
— Alexey Yushchuk, Managing Partner of SOYA Capital,
— Konstantin Prisukhin, Head of the Financial and Economic Department of AltEnergo,
— Olga Ukhanova, Senior Expert of the Russia Renewable Energy Development Association (RREDA).
8. Smart home: energy efficient homes, how they are designed and constructed
— Dmitry Berezutsky, President of GreenStroy Association, member of the board of the Council for Green Construction and Green Kilowatt Association,
— Igor Bely, Entrepreneur, Specialist in insulation and construction systems,
— Vladimir Fishter, President of NGO "Equator".
9. Sunstroke: specifics of the solar PV energy market in Russia and its opportunities
Guest: Ilya Likhov, Founder and CEO of Neosun Energy.
10. One Hundred Clean: modeling the future of renewable energy
— Oleg Lugovoy, Ph.D. in Economics, Leading Researcher at the Center for Economic Modeling of Energy and Evnironment, RANEPA,
— Igor Makarov, Ph.D. in Economics, Head of the Department of International Economics at the Higher School of Economics, Head of the Laboratory for Climate Change Economics at the Higher School of Economics.
I International Festival "Renewable Energy without the State"
On 15-18 November 2019, we held the I International Festival "Renewable Energy without the State" in Moscow. The Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Moscow and 350.org acted as the general partners of the event. The Impact Hub Moscow was main venue.
The festival brought together about 150 different stakeholders of the renewable energy industry in Russia: entrepreneurs from Moscow and regions, researchers, representatives of large companies and industry associations, school and university students. The festival showed that renewable energy is becoming popular in Russia.
During the opening ceremony of the festival, the Goal Number Seven Association and the GreenStroy Association signed an agreement on cooperation in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies in construction. The festival included lectures, a series of open discussions and interactive sessions. Entrepreneurs presented cases of cost-effective renewable energy projects and discussed the conditions necessary for the implementation of such projects. Russian activists of Fridays For Future told how to make renewable energy popular using climate activism methods. Experts from WECF (Women Engage for a Common Future) shared their experience in creating and developing renewable energy cooperatives in Europe and the Caucasus, and their Russian colleagues discussed the specifics of Russian cooperatives and the applicability of foreign experience in Russia.
The participants of the festival spoke about their economically successful projects to switch households and small businesses to renewable energy. According to them, the cost of network solar electricity in the south of Russia already starts from 3-4 rubles/kWh (0.04 $/kWh). In comparison, electricity from autonomous solar power plants costs 7 rubles/kWh (0.1 $/kWh) or even more. In 2019, the costs of solar PV electric power generation were comparable to the prices for grid electricity, and sometimes they were even lower. Russia has a great potential for the development of renewable energy in the retail and micro-retail electric power markets.