Renewable energy sourcesasa risk factor for the development of russian energy companies

Publication type Article
Status Published
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Affiliation: National Research University Higher School of Economics
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameIzvestiia Rossiiskoi akademii nauk. Energetika
EditionIssue 4

With limited energy resources and increased costs for their extraction, to meet the growing demand, it is necessary to search for sources of supply growth and to analyze various approaches to the development of energy. World energy leaders pay great attention to traditional sources, but also show interest in renewable energy technologies (renewables). The reason for this interest is not only the depletion of old ones and the absence of new large deposits. This is dictated by environmental requirements, the need to diversify energy supply sources, energy security policy and the formation of strategic reserves, as well as companies’ readiness for modern trends in energy and the development of new technological solutions. The development of renewables is becoming a factor of competition for technological leadership. According to the draft of the energy strategy of Russia until 2035 (ES-2035), the technologies of the “energy revolution” include renewables and energy storage. It is projected that the generation of energy using renewables, equal to 1% of the country’s total energy generation, will be achieved by 2020, and this conflicts with declarations of the importance of renewables.

Russian oil and gas companies are represented in corporate strategies as energy, which should mean increased attention not only to the hydrocarbon production sector, but also the development of other energy sectors, including renewable energy sources. Modern development strategies and programs sparingly reflect measures to develop alternative energy sources. This is due to the fact that the efficiency of the proposed green technologies is still low and for Russian conditions, the generation of energy by traditional methods is more effective than renewables: no additional resources, special efforts and innovations, and creativity of managerial decisions are required.

Russian companies, unlike the Western ones, invest little in the development of “green” energy at the industrial scale. Among the renewable assets, for example, BP has the largest biogas station in Brazil, 16 onshore wind farms in the US, and solar power plants in Germany and the United States. In the long term, the lack of such a direction of investment can mean the loss of technological prospects by Russian energy companies and even the withdrawal from the position of world energy leaders.

To ensure the share of renewable energy in the energy balance in accordance with the project ES-2035 (more than 3% of the total power generation by 2035), it is necessary to invest at least $1.7 billion annually. Achieving 3% by 2035 will only bring Russia closer to the indicators already achieved by developed economies.

The development of public-private partnerships, other instruments of state support, the acceleration of technological progress will narrow the gap in technological development, reduce the likelihood of Russian companies losing their share in the world energy market and the risk of occupying their place by those who are already actively investing in the development of clean energy.

Keywordsenergy resources, energy saving, reserves security, energy security, renewable energy sources, efficiency of green investments, energy strategy, clean energy, risks of technological backwardness
Publication date04.12.2018
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