Russia can be one of the most energy-competitive areas based on renewables, study shows

December 30, 2015

A fully renewable energy system is achievable and economically viable in Russia and Central Asia in 2030. Researchers from Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) modelled a renewable energy system for Russia and Central Asia. Results show that renewable energy is the cheapest option for the continent and can make Russia a very energy competitive region in the future.

According to the research, a 100 percent renewable for Russia and Central Asia would be roughly 50 percent lower in cost than a system based on latest European nuclear technology or and storage. Renewable energy covers and industrial natural gas demand, not, for example, transport or heating.

"We think that this is the first ever 100% renewable energy system modelling for Russia and Central Asia. It demonstrates that Russia can become one of the most energy-competitive regions in the world", emphasises professor Christian Breyer, co-author of the study.

Moving to a renewable energy system is possible due to the abundance of various types of renewable energy resources in the area. This then enables the building of a Super Grid, which connects different energy resources of the researched area.

Such a renewable energy system represents a drastic change compared to the current situation. The modelled energy system is based on wind, hydropower, solar, biomass and some geothermal energy. Wind amounts to about 60 percent of the production whilst solar, biomass and hydropower are distributed evenly. The total installed capacity of renewable energy in the system is about 550 gigawatts. Slightly more than half of this is wind energy and 20 percent is solar. The rest is composed of hydro and biomass supported with power-to-gas, pumped hydro storage and batteries. In the present situation, the total capacity is 388 gigawatts of which wind and solar only accounts for 1.5 gigawatts. The current system also has neither power-to-gas capacity nor batteries.

The geographical area of the research covers much of the northern hemisphere. Many of the countries in the area are currently reliant on the production and use of fossil fuels and nuclear power. In addition to Russia, the researched area includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan as well as Caucasus and Pamir regions including Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, and Kirgizstan and Tajikistan.

One of the key insights of the research is that energy sectors' integration lowers the cost of electricity by 20 percent for Russia and Central Asia. When moving to a renewable energy system, for example, natural gas is replaced with power-to-gas, i.e. converting electricity into gases, such as hydrogen and synthetic natural gas. This increases the overall need for . The more renewable capacity is built the more it can be used for different sectors: heating, transportation and industry. This flexibility of the system decreases the need for storages and lowers the cost of energy.

Explore further: Fully renewable energy system is economically viable in Finland in 2050

More information: www.researchgate.net/publicati … the_cost_optimal_mix

Related Stories

Costa Rica boasts 99% renewable energy in 2015

December 18, 2015

Almost all of Costa Rica's electricity came from renewable sources this year, making it one of a few countries in the world to eschew fossil fuels in energy generation, the state electricity agency said Friday.

Africa launches massive renewable energy initiative

December 2, 2015

African heads of state today announced plans for a gigantic renewable energy initiative that would provide as much as 300 gigawatts of renewable energy – twice the continent's total current electricity supply – by 2030.

Google ups ante, nearly doubles bet on renewable energy

December 3, 2015

Google is nearly doubling the amount of renewable energy feeding its massive data centers that enable more than 1 billion people to search for information, watch video clips and communicate virtually anytime they want.

Recommended for you

Microbes help turn Greek yogurt waste into fuel

December 13, 2017

Consumers across the world enjoy Greek yogurt for its taste, texture, and protein-packed punch. Reaching that perfect formula, however, generates large volumes of food waste in the form of liquid whey. Now researchers in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.