With abundant crude oil and natural gas reserves, Russia is a latecomer to wind power. However, it has now held its first auctions, commissioned its first project, and produced its first components.
The joint venture of Finnish developer Fortum and Russian technology giant Rusnano has dominated the country’s first two wind auctions. It won 1GW of 1.65GW available in June 2017, and then 823MW from the 830MW quota a year later.
Meanwhile, to comply with the country’s strict local content laws, manufacturers are preparing to set up production facilities in Russia.
In 2018, 55% of a wind farm must be produced locally, but this requirement will increase to 65% in 2019.
Developers receive state support through power contracts for top-up payments from the wholesale energy market, and these measures will remain in place until 2023.
However, despite petitions to extend the program, the government has not decided on further mechanisms to develop the 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.
EUROPE: Wind energy markets on Europe's eastern outskirts, once fertile terrain for those looking for growth in the face of declining opportunities in more mature markets in western Europe, have lost some of their appeal.
EUROPE: As a growing number of wind-energy investors have targeted central and eastern Europe (CEE) for growth, regulatory uncertainty in key markets such as Poland and Romania has complicated the prospects for financing and could slow down expansion in these regions.
UKRAINE: The Ukrainian wind industry is steadily developing as part of state plans to increase the share of renewables in the energy balance of the country to 11% by 2020 and a strong interest from private investors.
Wind projects in remote areas of Russia will be given a priority, following new regulations that have been given preliminary government approval.
A Russian government proposal to support wind power development from 2025 through a flat-rate tariff that will reduce annually has met with industry criticism.
Capital expenditure (Capex) for the construction of wind farms in Russia has significantly declined in recent years, and is now competitive with the rest of the world, senior officials at the Russian Ministry of Energy and renewable energy analysts claimed.
Vestas has opened its blade production facility in Ulyanovsk, according to the Russian Association of the Wind Industry (RAWI).
RUSSIA: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE) has signed an agreement with Russian firm Ruselprom for the production of turbine generators, and confirmed turbine purchase deals in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Turkey.