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October 13, 2022

Hydropower Amidst Global Changes: Current Status, Challenges and Development Trends

Key conclusions

Russia has a huge potential for hydropower development. Its fulfilment will help to build into the environmental agenda and solve the flood problem 

 “In Yakutia, energy consumption has been growing at an average annual rate of 8–9% in recent years. This is due to the launch of major investment projects and growth of industrial production. Industry is growing rapidly, and more energy is needed. Since 2021, for the first time ever, our energy consumption has exceeded production by almost 1%. The region’s hydro energy resources are estimated at 260 billion kilowatt-hours a year, which is 60% of the potential of the entire Far East, but only 1,5% of it has been developed. The country is turning to the East, so the development of industry in the Far East needs energy, and the cheapest and highest quality energy today is hydropower,” Aisen Nikolaev, Head of Sakha Republic (Yakutia).

“The multiplier effect of hydropower construction is many times greater than all possible hypothetical short-term effects of thermal generation,” Mikhail Khardikov, Head of Energy Business, En+ Group; General Director, Eurosibenergo.

“Pumped-storage plants and conventional hydropower plants receive an additional efficiency parameter due to the fact that a CO2 cost is attributed,” Fedor Opadchy, Chairman of the Board, System Operator of the United Power System.

“Over the last decade, the whole planet has been actively reducing its CO2 emissions. The main countries with the lowest emissions are Norway, Switzerland, and Canada, all of which prioritize hydropower. We need to note the ability of hydropower to prevent floods. The climate is getting warmer, and floods are becoming a bigger problem. Some areas in the Far East get flooded every year. Nothing but a cascade of reservoirs capable of cutting off flood peaks has been invented by mankind. Hydropower requires protection and support from all sides. It does not have such a powerful private lobby as other industries, but our country needs it,” Viktor Khmarin, Chairman of the Management Board, General Director, RusHydro.

Problems

High construction costs of hydropower and long payback period 

 

“Pumped-storage plants will never see a payback under these market rules,” Oleg Lushnikov, Executive Director, Hydropower of Russia Association of Organizations and Workers of Hydropower.

“We are not developing our hydropower industry. The whole world has put plants on every stream, even on sewers, and reclamation canals are being created. All of it is happening in the face of the complexities of European environmental legislation,” Viktor Khmarin, Chairman of the Management Board, General Director, RusHydro.

Solutions

State support for hydropower projects and modernization of existing plant equipment 

“The search for the right economic model is necessary. The role of the state is crucial, because only the state can factor in the effects of related industries or the challenges of the climate agenda,” Fedor Opadchy, Chairman of the Board, System Operator of the United Power System.

Inclusion of hydropower construction in Russia’s Energy Strategy


“The construction of new hydropower plants should be supported in the energy strategy. I call for new HPPs to be included in the strategy on a par with thermal power plants. The latter ones account for the majority,” Mikhail Khardikov, Head of Energy Business, En+ Group; General Director, Eurosibenergo.

“We have prepared proposals for five plants for about 6 GW of capacity, and we would very much like to see these facilities fixed in the General Layout Scheme [the General Layout Scheme for Electric Power Facilities until 2035, – Ed.] and worked out in terms of regulations and market rules,” Oleg Lushnikov, Executive Director, Hydropower of Russia Association of Organizations and Workers of Hydropower.

“HPP facilities and low-cost financing mechanisms should appear in the long-term policy documents,” Fedor Opadchy, Chairman of the Board, System Operator of the United Power System.


For more information, visit the Roscongress Foundation’s Information and Analytical System roscongress.org and the official Forum website rusenergyweek.com.