WWF analyzes scenario of energy system development in Kamchatka
Kamchatka has vast potential in energy development. The existing regional energy system, however, is characterized with high value of energy sources, and low energy efficiency. Some of the practices of energy system development implemented in Kamchatka recently had serious negative impact on environment. The Kamchatka region also lies far away from major energy chains and markets; rough climate and environmental conditions of the territory make things for local energy system even worse.
Ambitious plans of local government to pose Kamchatka as a territory attractive for investors stipulate a rapid modernization of existing power supply chain to ensure potential demand. Among several solutions of the potential demand are those, which can take a heavy toll on Kamchatka nature, for example: oilfield development in the shelves of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, construction of large hydro-power dams.
The results of eco-economic assessment of the Zhupanova dam construction were supported by the Presidential Executive Office, which recommended local administration to revise the energy development plan and find way to attract investments for developing renewable sources of energy, preferably wind and geothermal energy. These ideas were confirmed once more by Yuri Trutnev, Presidential Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District, during his recent visit to Kamchatka.
Alexey Kokorin, the head of head of Climate and Energy Programme of WWF-Russia thinks that recent decline of oil prices on international market won’t influence the same on local market.
“The energy price in Kamchatka will remain the same because of remoteness of the region, which causes high additional costs on everything, including energy based on finite sources. That’s why development of renewable energy sources remains in priority here. However, there is no simple and cheap solution for Kamchatka. Possible scenarios of such development should be thoroughly studied.”
The new project of WWF-Russia is aimed at finding ways to enhance regional energy system by introducing alternative sources of energy, improving existing power supply chains making it environmentally sound and economically more efficient. All collected data and final scenarios will be disseminated among stakeholders and decision-makers both on federal and regional level of power, financial institutions and investors.