Creating markets and policy for Russia’s new energy economy


Aida Mezit,
Conference Producer,
Smart Utilities Russia
By Aida Mezit, Conference Producer, Smart Utilities Russia 2013

Over more than half a century, Russia relied on robust investments made in the grid that started in the 1920s. In the closed border Soviet days, electricity networks were recipients of generous amounts of public funds to foster industralization; in the post-1989 economy the modern Russia became to a large degree oriented towards energy exports. This has resulted over the years in chronic underinvestment in domestic power infrastructure and a complex semi-liberalized policy that has made the sector unattractive to investment.

Faced with an ageing grid and unreliable supply, and coupled with Russia’s growing prosperity and electricity demand, the government has awakened to the grim realities of the domestic power sector, and is currently assessing how to attract sizeable investments to the country’s vast T&D networks. It is in the process of devising a new policy that will help invigorate domestic markets and bring energy efficiency levels on par with Europe, and open doors to high tech companies able to create new value added products and services for consumers.

The last few years have also seen a lively dialogue amongst the utility community about the level of modernization the network needs and what technologies and operational approaches deliver the most cost effective results. Decentralized generation, electrification of heating, the roles of consumers and various pricing incentives and smart metering enabled efficiency programs are some of the topics we are hearing more and more about. A number of projects have already started, and a great many more are in the pipeline and planning phase.

A growing number of international companies and nascent Russian smart energy players are recognizing the untapped market potential of the domestic electricity supply chain and are pushing for  business opportunities as the sector  opens up  to modernization and growth.

This complex but also increasingly dynamic industry, the current state of the markets and long term prospects, will be the theme of the forthcoming Smart Utilities Russia event taking place January 29-30 in Moscow, which will combine inspiring talks by Russian and European experts, open debates and a new technology showcase.

To foster open dialogue among all key parties and attract higher numbers of representatives from Russian energy companies, Synergy is offering free conference passes to all Russian electricity network and supply companies.

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