Uniting the Efforts of the Infrastructure Sector and the Regions to Achieve Economic Growth plenary session took place during the Russian Energy Week
6 October, Moscow. – Experts discussed the future of the fuel and energy complex (FEC) as seen through the lens of the economy digitalization at the Uniting the Efforts of the Infrastructure Sector and the Regions to Achieve Economic Growth plenary session that was held during the Russian Energy Week.
Panellists included Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation; Sergei Sobyanin, Mayor of Moscow; Pavel Livinsky, General Director, Rosseti; Herman Gref, Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of the Executive Board, Sberbank; and Peter Herweck, Executive Vice President for Industry, Member of the Executive Committee, Schneider Electric. In his opening speech Alexander Novak noted that infrastructure development apart from the logistics chains improvement allows reducing production costs significantly and increasing efficiency. According to Novak, among all FEC industries the power sector is going to change the most.
"Although energy efficiency is universally increasing, and power losses are minimized, it is estimated that by 2030 global power demand will increase by 30%. In Russia the demand growth will match this global trend," the Minister said.
One of the key challenges for the energy sector is to increase the return on investment into infrastructure. "This is necessary for attracting international investors and taking Russian infrastructure to the international level," Alexander Novak said, and added that Russia is one of the world leaders in infrastructure development investment. "Every year about 4.5% of GDP is spent on this."
According to the Ministry of Energy estimates, complete digitalization of Russian power grid is going to cost around 2 trillion rubles. Alexander Novak reminded that the annual investment programme of Rosseti is about 250 billion rubles, and only a small portion of this is spent on digitalization. He reassured that efforts will be made to speed up this process. According to the Minister, the investments are going to pay off really fast.
The Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin reported on the development of the city's energy infrastructure. He said that well developed infrastructure helps to save money and also spurs economic growth, while new technologies contribute to this. For example, power companies already offer joining the grid online. "Given the northern location of Moscow compared to other megalopolises, it all has quite an impact on its infrastructure development," Sergei Sobyanin said.
According to him, due to consistent efforts in recent years, Moscow's communal infrastructure reached such levels of development and reliability that during the heating season there aren’t any significant heat outages anymore. "This work goes unnoticed, we only note it when it gets cold at home and we wonder what has happened, bring the heat back! But such cases are now very rare," Sobyanin said.
Another panellist, Herman Gref, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, said that in five years the cost of solar power is going to drop by 27%. "Solar power, which until recently was seen as a luxury now costs the same as the energy from traditional resources," Gref said, and added that there is no such forecast for traditional energy sources.
Panellists agreed that development of infrastructure is crucial for modern economy. It allows to satisfy the needs of both industrial and household consumers.
Registration will be available from 18 September to 2 October 2023.
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