Russia is pressing ahead with its biggest-ever auction for renewable energy, seeking to award contracts to purchase 1.9 gigawatts of clean electricity as well as attracting foreign investment to support jobs at home, Bloomberg reported on May 29, 2017.
The government tender starting today has attracted the interest of Fortum Oyj, Finland’s largest energy company, which is prequalified to participate in the auction.
Enel SpA of Italy may also participate.
«Russia has had a long history of leadership in the energy sector and now has the opportunity to extend that leadership into renewable energy,» said Adnan Amin, director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Developing the country’s renewable resources, he said, «can significantly contribute to the country’s economic objectives such as economic growth and employment.»
The Russian government enacted strict local-content rules in 2012 and 2014 in a bid to stimulate job creation.
Clean energy plants aren’t allowed to be installed unless a certain percent of the equipment is made locally, and that portion rises every year.
Since no company makes wind turbines in Russia, this has hampered the industry.
In 2017, the portion is fixed at 40 %.
The auction is from May 29 to June 9, in 2 stages.
Participants will begin to submit their bids on Monday, with the decision from the government expected for a later date.
Russia’s environment is more conducive to wind and hydro than solar, although some small-scale projects are being built in rural areas.
Its appeal as a renewable energy market lies in the electricity prices it might pay, according to Finland’s Fortum.
Fortum recently entered into a joint venture with Rusnano, a state-owned Russian investment firm.
The Finnish company said its long-term plan is to build approximately 500 megawatts of wind in the country.