Renewables to aid reconstruction of economy

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Wind power could well be a winner in the economic pact signed in Moscow by North Korea and Russia. North Korea, one of the poorest and most isolated countries, should have its economy reconstructed, especially its power sector, say senior Russian diplomats. Special attention will be paid to wind and other non-traditional energy sources, as well as to nuclear, according to a news report in Tass, the official Russian news agency. Russian President Vladimir Putin and the head of North Korea's defence committee Kim Jong II, signed the pact late this summer. North Korea's power plants are currently producing as little as one-fifth of their potential because of worn-out equipment, substandard fuel and low morale. Russia's energy sector has been buoyant. Because of higher prices, Russia had the fastest economic growth in 2000, according to Worldwatch Institute's "Vital Signs 2001: The Trends That are Shaping Our Future." Russia's 7% growth was more than twice its growth in 1999 and slightly more than twice of the European Community's 3.4%.

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