Russia Renewable Energy

Russia—No 100%2050 commitment
Benchmark: 11% by 2030

Historically, Russia has relied on fossil fuel sources of energy due to its large amount of natural reserves. Russia has the largest reserves of natural gas and one of the largest coal and oil deposits in the world. Russia’s budget heavily depends on fossil fuels which accounts for 35% of the federal budget revenue and 60% of exports. According to statistics, the main energy sources used in Russia are gas (43%) and coal (25%), whereas only 3.6% of total energy consumption comes from renewables.

There are several reasons for such a low ratio of renewable energy sources, including: high prime cost of renewable energy production as compared to fossil fuels, lack of national grid systems that would allow easy transfer of energy from its source, and the dominance of big oil and gas corporations on the market. Therefore, the process of the development of the renewable energy sector is complex and requires significant changes in various spheres of the Russian economy and industry.

Nevertheless, Russia has taken certain actions towards the development of their renewable energy sector. There was a government decree No. 449 of May 28, 2013 (as amended on February 28, 2017) “on the mechanism for stimulating the use of renewable energy sources in the wholesale electricity and capacity market”. Under this regulation, renewable projects are provided with a set of stimulus measures such as: removal of barriers when connecting renewable energy facilities to the larger energy network, refund of payment for technological connection, subsidizing interest rates on loans for development, and public funding for research and pilot projects.

According to Government Decree No.1472-R as of July 28, 2015, the amount of renewable energy generated in Russia will reach 6GW by 2024 (the reference standard scenario) and the share of renewable energy sources in the coming years should increase and reach 4.9% by 2030 (see table below).

Moreover, a positive case scenario (REmap) has been published by the International Renewable Energy Agency. It states that there is a possibility that the share of renewable energy generated in Russia will reach 11% by 2030 with the capacity of wind generation reaching 23GW, solar generation 5GW and bioenergy units 26GW.

The table above shows that the major focus in Russia in the localization percentage has been lowered from 65% to 40% as of 2017.

Renewable energy production locations are concentrated along Russia’s southern boarder due to the more favorable climate conditions found there and a better developed national grid in those regions.

Figure 1: Location of major Russian renewable energy sources (as of 2015)

At the moment, the biggest renewable energy project being constructed in Russia is by the Finish company Fortrum. It is a wind generation park located in the Ulyanovsk region with a capacity of 35MW (using Chinese units). This project is expected to be commissioned in the coming year.

Learn More

Renewable Energy Prospects for the Russian Federation (REmap working paper)
Development of renewable energy in Russia report
“Russia struggles to unleash clean energy potential”