Renewable energy sources

A Gazprom representative announced that the Company is planning to correlate costs of its supplies carbon fuel not with oil prices but with the cost of alternative electrical energy.

In 2011, investments in the renewable energy amounted to the record $257 bln, UN report says. - Renewable energy gets cheaper and cheaper, experts from International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) claim. In Russia share of renewable energy is still less then 1 %.

The International Energy Agency has released a new report World Energy Outlook 2011 on the evaluation of the realities and prospects of world energy. Russia has once again taken its place in the energy "crowd": no hopes, no expectations.

The Energy Industry Expo 2011 Forum held in Yekaterinburg witnessed the concept of distributed energy system in the Sverdlovsk region. Representatives of regional authorities and of environmental organizations are sure that distributed network and renewable energy shall replace the excessively centralized energy system in the Urals.

In a short time energy technologies will change beyond recognition. This is the opinion of participants of the seminar "Technological vectors in the energy sector and the prospects for the venture technology business" held in Moscow. Experts in the field of business and power see not only technological but also economic incentives for renewable energy development in Russia.

Worldwide, the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is solved by fast growth of renewable energy. Transport is responsible for almost one third of global greenhouse gases emissions. However, the use of RE in autonomous vehicles is a technical challenge. Therefore, all the more surprising is the progress that was demonstrated in recent years. The year 2011 marked ten years of successful commercial navigation of the world biggest solar-powered catamaran MobiCat. Russia lags behind in this matter, and it is necessary to pay special attention to transport sector in development programmes for RE.

Ministry of Energy sent for review to the federal bodies of executive power the project of "a series of measures to stimulate production of electric power generation facilities that operate through the use of renewable energy sources." Experts believe that the measures proposed by the Ministry of Energy will have no effect without real reform of the electricity market for renewable energy.

In Germany the share of energy from wind and solar power stations for the first time went beyond 20% of the country’s energy balance. While Germany’s plan to go nuclear free is frowned upon by some, many experts are sure that dropping the nuke is the way to go. Environmental NGOs say that Germany may serve as a good example for Russia, since the goal of 4.5% by 2020 is close to nothing.

Russia aims to more than quadruple renewable power generation by 2020 and has formidable resources to do so, but its hydrocarbon lobby is stonewalling progress and is unlikely to back down in the foreseeable future. On the contrary, representatives of environmental NGOs consider the target of 4,5% as impermissibly low one. Green energy experts say Russia's expansive coastline, forest cover, favourable topography and abundance of wastes that can be recycled should mean that meeting this goal would not be a problem. Russia can become a world leader in renewables and strive to 20% share of renewables in its energy production.

Energy saving is the resource as big as Russia, according to Scientific director of the Ural Institute for Energy Saving Nikolai Danilov (Ekaterinburg). This entirely reflects the views of environmental NGOs, who believe that the purposeful introduction of energy efficiency projects will allow to abandon construction of hazardous energy projects.