On 15 April 2011, the RUFS project, together with the FOI-project on Climate and Energy Adaptation, arranged a seminar on the Russian energy sector with speakers from Russia and Finland. Russia is the largest energy provider in Europe and one of the world’s largest energy stakeholders. However, huge investments must be made to modernise the energy sector such that it can successively increase output for domestic and export markets.
At the seminar, Dr Alexei Gromov, Institute of Energy Strategy, Moscow, discussed the problem of the low level of energy efficiency in Russia and explained how the government is committed to solving this pressing issue. Although Russia has been in a position to sell emission certificates since it joined the Kyoto protocol, this position may change during the coming years if energy policies do not change in favour of better energy economy and the development of renewable sources of energy.
Dr Susanne Oxenstierna, FOI, discussed the role of the nuclear energy expansion in Russia’s future energy economy. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Helsinki University, also contributed to the discussion by pointing out that although Russia has the technology for developing renewable energy sources, there is no “champion”, i.e. a major company that is willing to invest. Likewise, the issues of energy saving and energy efficiency are represented by a new, relatively unknown government agency, the Russian Energy Agency, which might have trouble defending its interests against traditional huge energy champions like Gazprom or Rosneft.