Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
With its vast size, Russia necessarily receives a very substantial amount of solar radiation, but the geographical diversity of the country means that the resource is not uniformly available. The average solar radiation in the southern regions is about 1 400 kWh/m2/yr whilst the remote northern areas receive about 810 kWh/m2/yr.
The regions with the best potential comprise the North Caucasus, regions bordering the Black Sea and the Caspian, and the southern parts of Siberia and the Far East. Areas below or near latitude 50oN have particularly favourable solar radiation. The resource is extremely seasonal: at 55°N it ranges from 1.69 kWh/m2/day in January to 11.41 kWh/m2/day in July.
Although it has been estimated that the gross potential, the technical potential and the economic potential for solar energy are 2.3 trillion tce, 2 300 million tce and 12.5 million tce, respectively, Russia's enormous indigenous fossil fuel reserves have meant that historically, little attention has been paid to the renewable energies. However, with about 10 million people having no access to an electricity grid and most rural settlements having no centralised heat supply, the possibilities for off-grid solar energy or hybrid applications are huge.
The building of a single Solar Power Plant 'Kislovodskaya SPP' (1.5 MW), with assumed output 2.04 million kWh, has been delayed.