Russia may relax local-content requirements

RUSSIA: The Russian government may ease its stringent local-content requirements relating to wind developments.

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The government had previously set a requirement that 55% of components had to be made domestically, rising to 65% in 2016-2020.

This may now set to be reduced to 36% and 49% respectively in a move aimed at removing barriers to the participation of foreign investors in the nascent wind industry.

A spokesperson for the Sovet Rynka, a special state working group, which has been holding talks with industry players, told Windpower Monthly that it has now reached agreement on the lower content requirment.

At the same time, the government has refused to adopt other proposals from the industry, such as extending the 14% rate of return set for wind projects until 2018 and to restore tenders offered in previous years but not taken up by investors.

An official spokesperson from the Russian energy ministry said that it had refused further reforms as it did not want to force an increase in consumer energy prices.

Earlier in August, the Russian government said it was considering imposing a ban on the import of machinery parts including wind power equipment from the European Union and the US in a response to sanctions imposed on Russia by western countries.

Installed wind capacity in the country still stands at just 14MW, but a number of projects are now in the planning stages.

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