Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Wind Country Notes
Russia has used its high wind resource for many hundreds of years, mainly mechanically for water pumping. However, despite an enormous potential, commercial, large-scale utilisation has never occurred and development has generally been restricted to agricultural uses in areas where a grid connection was infeasible. The areas of greatest resource are the regions where the population density is less than 1 person per km2.
The coastal areas of the Pacific and Arctic Oceans, the vast steppes and the mountains are the areas of highest potential. In 1935 the wind resource was estimated at 18 000 TWh for the USSR as a whole. More recently, estimates suggest that the European part of Russia has a gross wind energy resource of 29 600 TWh/yr (37%) and the Siberian and Far East part, 50 400 TWh/yr (63%). The technical resource for each is reported to be 2 308 and 3 910 TWh/yr, respectively.
It has been suggested that large-scale wind energy systems might be applied in areas where the resource is particularly favourable and there is an existing power infrastructure and major industrial consumers. These would include various locations in Siberia and the Far East (east of Sakhalin Island, the extreme south of Kamchatka, the Chukotka Peninsula in the Magadan region, Vladivostok), the steppes along the Volga river, the northern Caucasus steppes and mountains and the Kola Peninsula. Additionally, offshore wind parks could be considered in some of these areas, especially in the Magadan region and in the Kola Peninsula where existing hydropower stations could be used to compensate for the intermittent wind power.
During the past decade, Russia's economic constraints have not assisted in the development of large renewable energy projects. However, in 2000, the European Union and Russia began the mutually beneficial Energy Dialogue dealing with a wide range of energy issues, from security of supply to energy efficiency to discussions regarding an interconnected electricity network. Soon after Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol in October 2004, the EU began providing technical assistance through its TACIS programme. The Kyoto Protocol requires the promotion of renewable energy and, as far as wind is concerned, the manufacture of wind energy equipment and the development of wind plants in Russia.
At end-2006, total installed wind capacity stood at 15.0 MW. The main wind power stations are: Kalmickaya, 2.0 MW (Kalmykia); Zapolyarnaya, 1.5 MW (Komi); Kulikovskaya, 5.1 MW (Yantarskaya region); Tyupkildi, 2.2 MW (Bashkiriya) and on Observation Cape, 2.5 MW (Chukotskaya autonomous region).
Feasibility studies are being carried out on the 50 MW Kaliningradskaya and the 75 MW Leningradskaya wind power projects; European and US companies are considering participation in their construction.
Spanish and German companies are considering involvement in 100 MW of wind projects in Kalmykia and in the Krasnodar region.
The Russian Association of Wind Industry (RAWI) was established in the early years of the 21st century and the first of its stated aims is to help the formation, growth and development of the wind power market in the Russian Federation.