Russian power generating cos want govt to back renewables

Feb 16, 2017 – Russia’s government has substantially cut renewable energy targets for 2021-2015 in favor of Rostec’s waste burning plant project, Kommersant business daily reported on Thursday.

The government intends to decrease wind power auctions by 250 megawatt (MW) to 3.351 gigawatt (GW) in the period, small hydro auctions will be reduced almost twofold to 425.4 MW, whereas the solar generation target is to expand by an additional 240MW to 1.759 GW, the paper said.

Stepan Zvyagintsev,CEO of Enel Russia, a branch of Italy’s major power company and one of the global renewable market leaders Enel, reportedly sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich earlier in February to say that such a step will inevitably decrease the number of possible investors in Russia’s wind energy sector and will “result in a significant deceleration of the industry.” A spokesperson for Dvorkovich’s office said no letter has been received yet.

The position of Enel Russia has been endorsed by some Russian power generating companies, including Fortum, constructing a 35 MW wind power facility in the Ulyanovsk region, and VetroSGC, an affiliate of nuclear power corporation Rosatom, Kommersant said. The companies declined to comment on the situation.

Capacity supply agreements are Russia’s major mechanism to support renewable energy development. Investors have been losing interest in the local renewable energy market lately, Kommersant said. VetroSGC was the only participant at the latest wind power auctions. The newspaper’s sources in the industry also said that the reduction of wind energy targets might be connected with a decision to spend part of the reserved funds on construction of waste burning facilities in the Moscow region and the republic of Tatarstan by a Rostec company RT-Invest.