Russia will remain small on wind energy

Russia has 12 percent of global oil reserves, 35 percent of gas reserves and 16 percent of coal reserves. And it is available to the Russian industry at prices way below the level in the EU. Russian companies buy gas for prices six times lower than its neighbors, coal – three times lower and electricity – two times lower.

This is the reason for the traditional Russian squander [of energy] and the neglect of new alternative energy technologies, Vedomosti writes in an editorial.

“Why develop wind energy, solar power and other expensive sources of energy when we have so much oil under our feet?” the newspaper asks.

The current capacity of Russian alternative energy production (about 15 MW) is a “joke” and the ambition to generate 15 GW of wind energy by 2020, as laid down in the newly adopted Russian Energy Strategy, is unrealistic, the editorial argues.

Russia has high quality wind resources on the Pacific and Arctic coasts and in vast steppe and mountain areas. Large-scale wind energy systems are suitable in Siberia and the Far East (east of Sakhalin Island, the south of Kamchatka, the Chukotka Peninsula, Vladivostok), the steppes along the Volga river, the northern Caucasus steppes and mountains and on the Kola Peninsula, where power infrastructure and major industrial consumers are in place. 

Major wind farm plants operate at Kalmytskaya (2 MW), Zapolyarnaya (1.5 MW), Kulikovskaya (5.1 MW), Tyupkildi (2.2 MW) and Observation Cape (2.5 MW). Feasibility studies are being carried out on the Kaliningradskaya (50 MW) and the Leningradskaya (75 MW) wind farms. There are about 100 MW of wind turbines projects in Kalmykia and in Krasnodar Krai.

Russia has excellent potential for wind power generation. An attempt to utilize just 25 percent of its total potential would yield some 175,000 MW of power. The highest wind energy potential is concentrated along seacoasts, in the vast territories of steppes and in the mountains.