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Expert: cutting use of diesel in the Arctic may favor 'green' energy development

Russia’s most settlements in the Arctic depend on isolated diesel systems, of high costs and low productivity

ULYANOVSK, May 24. /TASS/. Development of renewable energy in Russia’s Arctic regions is possible if local authorities are motivated to cut expenses on diesel fuel, the Russian Association of Wind Power Industry’s President Igor Bryzgunov said.

"The so-called ‘northern supplies’ is a special term, though in reality it is money, which the Russian Ministry of Economic Development allocates to regions to that they could afford energy supplies, as they do not have any other instruments to produce energy," he told TASS on the fringes of the All Renewable World Energy forum in Ulyanovsk (ARWE). "[The Arctic regions] should be motivated to save that money and use renewable energy sources, to keep the industry move on."

Russia’s most settlements in the Arctic depend on isolated diesel systems - their costs are high and productivity is low. The cost of producing one kW/h could be 150 rubles ($2.3), as the fuel is delivered there only once or twice a year. Renewable energy sources could lower prices on electricity, but, according to the expert, "green" energy does not have high chances to develop in the Arctic regions.

Executive Director of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology’s Arctic Technologies Institute Yuri Vasilyev during a panel discussion pointed to the severe conditions, which hinder development of wind power energy in the Arctic. Any installation or service works could be done there only within maximum 70 days a year. Quite often the only way to install equipment is to use a helicopter, which is very costly - more than 120,000 rubles an hour ($1,900). At the same time, the wind speed is more than 5-7 m/sec, which is a favorable condition for economically effective use of the wind power.

The All Renewable World Energy international forum (ARWE 2019) is a platform combining a congress, a specialized exhibition and a technical tour for industry experts. Russia’s Ulyanovsk hosts the event since 2018. The forum is underway from May 22. The event focuses on the RES advancement in the Russian Federation, as well as on solutions for efficient cooperation between suppliers and key customers within localization programs.

The forum is supported by Russia’s Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Roscongress Foundation and the ULNANOTECH nano technology center. The forum is organized by Elektrifikatsia JSC - one of the largest congress and exhibition operators in Russia, and RAWI - the Russian Association of Wind Power Industry.