Russia & Ukraine - Russia prepares to launch wind sector

RUSSIA: Wind power scarcely exists at all in Russia -- just 14MW across the whole of this huge country -- but there are indications that this could change quite dramatically in the next few years.

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A new programme outlining territorial planning of the Russian energy industry until 2030, which was approved in November 2013 by prime minister Dmitry Medvedev, includes the construction of large wind farms in different parts of the country.

The plan lists 16 wind power projects with a total capacity of more than 6GW. The first on the list is the 150MW Priyutnensky wind farm in Kalmykia, which is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of 2015. Among the other large projects under development are the Middle Volga and Lower Volga wind farms in the Saratov and Volgograd regions. Each will have a capacity of up to 1GW and will be built by 2020.

Political division halts progress in Ukraine

Wind power development had been proceeding rather quicker in Ukraine, but the political crisis engulfing the country makes it impossible to predict future progress. According to Windpower Intelligence, 41MW of new capacity was installed during 2013, taking the country's total to 341MW. The Ukrainian Wind Energy Association adds another 30MW to both figures, but it is believed that extra capacity was not grid connected by year end.

Most of the country's wind projects are developed by two companies, Wind Parks of Ukraine and the wind power division of DTEK Holding. According to Andrew Konechenkov, head of the Ukranian Wind Energy Association, the unresolved issues, regarding the connection of wind power plants to the Ukrainian grid remains the most pressing problem for the industry.

Ukraine was on course for steady progress this year, a shortage of investment appearing the biggest problem. But the extent of the current political crisis suggests 2014 will not be a good year for its wind industry.

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