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October 15, 2021

Discussion on potential of renewable energy takes place at Green Energy in the Arctic Conference

The Green Energy in the Arctic Conference was held in Moscow under the aegis of Russian Energy Week 2021 and the 2021–2023 Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. The event was organized by the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic. The conference was attended by representatives of federal agencies, development institutes, and Russian and international companies.

Experts at the Green Energy in the Arctic session discussed the prospects of Russia achieving the target of carbon neutrality by 2060 announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The challenges and threats the Arctic faces as a result of the technology transition were also considered.

“We must acknowledge the growing role of the Russian Arctic in the global and national economy. The region is firmly embedded in global supply changes, and as we move to a climate-neutral economy we will see increased demand for resources that are abundant in the Arctic. There is a great deal of work that Russia can do alongside its partners in the Arctic Council to integrate the technologies and approaches that we already possess, in particular the Snowflake International Arctic Station, which is being implemented in Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District and Murmansk Region and will run on renewable energy,” said Ambassador-at-Large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Committee of Senior Arctic Officials Nikolay Korchunov.

It was noted that the development of the Arctic regions should be implemented using advanced and innovative technologies, including the expanded adoption of renewable energy sources and hybrid energy projects in the interests of improving living standards for local communities.

“The response to the climate and environmental challenges should be centred on new technologies aimed at reducing anthropogenic impacts, advancing decarbonization and promoting the development of renewable energy sources. There is huge potential here for the Arctic region, which is estimated to have per capita energy consumption rates 15 times that of the national average. Projects using solar and wind energy are already being implemented in the Arctic regions. Notably, RusHydro is creating a network of automated hybrid power plants. Modern nuclear energy technologies can help to provide sustainable, low-emission solutions for power generation, and have already been implemented in Chukhotka. A major project to implement technologies for small-scale nuclear power generation in Yakutia is also being developed,” said Director of the Department for Infrastructure Development of the Ministry for the Development of the Russian Far East and Arctic Soslan Abisalov.

“RusHydro is implementing a project to build a number of hybrid diesel-solar plants under the new energy service contract mechanism. These plants will be installed in 72 villages in Yakutia and seven settlements in Kamchatka by 2024, making it possible to upgrade the energy system, stabilize electricity prices and reduce diesel fuel deliveries by 30%,” said Member of the Executive Board and First Deputy CEO of RusHydro Roman Berdnikov.

The experts noted the growing interest in green energy projects from among Russian investors.

“We are observing a trend for responsible attitudes towards the environmental agenda and green projects on the part of investors. Examples include Novatek’s LNG project in Yamal and East Mining Company’s wind farm on Sakhalin, which has a capacity of almost 70 MW. We are currently engaged in dialogue with investors on the state support measures required in order for the number of green energy projects to multiply,” said Managing Director of the Corporation for the Development of the Far East and the Arctic Vasily Potemkin.

Renewable energy projects currently being implemented in Europe were also presented at the discussion, including a project to generate electric power from sea waves.

“We are using the sea’s resources to generate electric power. The technology is complex, but European companies are increasing their presence in this area. Similar projects can be implemented in Russia, primarily in the Pacific region and on the Kola Peninsula,” said Commercial Director at Wavepiston Peter Svendsen.

A business breakfast on ‘Achieving Carbon Neutrality in the Arctic’ was also held at the conference. The participants discussed approaches to reducing the impact of human activity in general and the Arctic’s carbon footprint in particular, as well as the question of whether the region’s industrial development can be implemented in a way that doesn’t endanger this goal. The experts noted that the Arctic is a strategic region for the development of renewable energy projects. The unique natural resources, access to strategic sales markets and development of the Northern Sea Route create unique conditions for implementing green energy projects and realizing the region’s export potential.

The Roscongress Foundation is the operator of events under the Russian Chairmanship of the Arctic Council.