25 February 2017

Georgy Kalamanov: "Green energy" is a well-known theme in Russia

Georgy Kalamanov: “Green energy” is a well-known theme in Russia
Though it has large natural energy resource stocks, Russia doesn’t stand apart in terms of development of renewable energy sources. This variety of approaches to searching the balance of energy sources will be the main theme of Russian section at EXPO-2017, which will take place in Astana since June, - reported in the interview with RIA news Georgy Kalamanov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, the Commissioner-General of Russian section at “EXPO-2017”.
- Georgy Vladimirovich, there has been yet few public information about Russian pavilion at EXPO-2017 in Astana. Could you please disclose some details?
“Energy of the future” is the theme, which unites a lot of actual for the humanity questions and a search for answers on them. The potential of our country can address a great amount of promising solutions of these burning in the whole world issues. The main purpose of the exposition is to show to visitors the priorities of development of Russia’s energy from the past to the future using an example of unique nature of regions in our country. Russia has all the variety of actual energy resources. That is exactly what we are going to show within Russian exposition. From the wealth and greatness of Arctic as well as discoveries, which our country made in different periods of its history in the field of energy industry’s development, to an alternative energy and renewable energy resources, which have been recently actively developing in Russia.
Speaking of the pavilion, I’d like to mention that we have started to work jointly with our partners here, in Astana, in the International Exhibitions Bureau, long time ago. We have already been through almost all main processes. We have passed the procedure for granting pavilion in December. Our pavilion is one of the biggest expositions at EXPO-2017: approximately 1 thousand square meters on the first level and about as much on the second one. The concept of our exhibition is ready, all its main elements are approved by organizing committee, which is headed by Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation.
The pavilion itself should be ready in Maywhen we must deliver the project to our partners here, in Astana.
- The theme of EXPO-2017, “Energy of the future”, will be mainly devoted to renewable energy sources. How does such a country as Russia withlarge natural resourcestocks plan to integrate itself into general agenda of events?
It looks like a challenge to us and to any otherenergy resource-rich country from the outside. In fact, though, the availability of rich natural resources doesn’t mean that we are not thinking of the future. Our country as well is very active in building wind farms. Probably, the speed of development is not as rapid as in Europe, but there is no sense to make a comparison due to many reasons. Nevertheless, we keep moving on. We are building wind farms, developing solar energy, getting microgeneration on the level of the ordinary customer.
Moreover, there are several regions in Russia, where it is cheaper to use renewable energy resources than traditional ones. The situation with electricity and gas in these regions is not very good. I am basically speaking of inaccessible human settlements in the north. It is expensive to deliver energy resources to some remote locations of our country, and the best solution of this problem might be alternative energy, implemented right there, solar or power plants and other alternative energy sources of electricity.
In the North, Far East, some regions of Caucasus and South Siberia renewable energy is highly demanded even nowadays. In some isolated settlements energy is made by burning the delivered diesel fuel. There is a good potential for wind farms in particular regions. Due to short terms of building, it is profitable to develop wind energy.
So Russia doesn’t stand apart. Actual for the world problems are actual for us as well, despite all our power and rich natural resources. That is why global energy balance will be the main theme within business program. The search of balance of energy sources is the primary challenge of Russian section at EXPO-2017.
- Which companies have already claimed their participation within exhibition in Astana? Which projects would they like to present?
- Main directions of energetic development will be presented within our exposition: Rosatom’s atomic energy as well as the block of renewable energy sources – hydro energy, solar energy and wind energy. Without any doubt, our main development paths, related to development of oil and gas sectors, petrochemistry and gaschemistry, will be presented within exhibition.
Such companies as Rosatom, Rosseti, Transneft, Uralchem, Uralkali, Nornickel and others will take part in the national section of Russia. Republic of Tatarstan, Sverdlovsk region, government of Saint Petersburg and others will present its economic potential and actual projects.
- What is special about Russian section at EXPO?
- We will pay key attention to business program. The idea is to transformthe Russian exposition into global discussion platform, where the best minds of the world, leaders of major countries and representatives of big international corporations will gather together. We will raise worldwide issues here and discuss challenges, which nowadays world faces in terms of correct and effective use of energy resources, search of the balance of energy sources, notably the use of natural resources and alternative “green” energy, implementation of new technologies in the field of energy.
Within 12 weeks, when the exhibition will take place, we will have theme tracks on different aspects of the key theme of EXPO-2017 – “Energy of the future”. I assume that the results will be documented in some report. We will present it to our colleagues in Astana.
- This year Russia celebrates the year of ecology. Will any projects related to environmental technologies and ecological production be presented within exhibition?
Clearly, there will be such projects within Russian exposition. Moreover, theme sessions, which can fully cover problems of ecology and safety as well as environmental protection, will be included in international business program. Heads of global corporations, which play important role on the energetic market, as well as leading experts in this field will take part in it.
I assume that one of the blocks will be devoted to Arctic and its development in general. The second block, I think, will be devoted to environmental issues, including lake Baikal. It is believed that Baikal is another energy resource in terms of water supply. Everything is systemized, connected and important for us.
- Do you think this exhibition will accelerate the use of alternative energy sources in Russia? What is its share in general energy production?
- Worldwide, this figure is 20% of all energy production. The contribution of non-traditional renewable energy sources (not including big hydropower stations) to energy balance of Russia doesn’t yet exceed 1%. According to recently accepted governmental laws, its contribution should rise up to 4,5% until 2020.
Though Russia is still behind many leading countries in terms of development and exploitation of technologies of the use of renewable energy sources, there are a lot of positive examples of realization of successful projects in this field due to rich natural energy resources. It refers to creation of several geothermal facilities in Kamchatka. Its implementation helped to reduce drastically the volume of delivered diesel fuel in this region. Private business made a “breakthrough” in exploration of wood pellets made from wood processing waste. Russia has become one of the world leaders in the volume of production of pellet (more than 2 million tons a year).
The implementation of tidal hydroelectric station using original Russian developments is also partly successful. Some companies pay a lot of attention to exploration of technologies aimed on mass production of photoelectric converters. Wind energy is also developing.
We always take into consideration the balance of various energy sources addressing analytics’ opinion that oil and gas will remain basic sources in the nearest future. I should also mention the increase in the share of new energy sources in the general energy balance. We want to present it all within exhibition. It’s hard to compensate completely oil, gas, coal and other energy sources, but the share of wind, sun and water is increasing step by step anyway.
- Do you think the government should support enterprises which implement high technology production? Is this problem on the agenda of the government?
- Without any doubt, they should be supported. Such issues very often become the point for discussion in the government. It has an active position in realization of big projects within energetic and industrial sectors in the format of private as well as public-private partnership. I assume that these questions should be discusses here, on the platform at EXPO.
- Which cultural program will Russian Federation present?
- A lot of regions of Russian Federation will take part in the exhibition. Sverdlovsk region, Saint Petersburg, Chelyabinsk region and many others have already confirmed participation. Along with business program, there will also be cultural events, performances of the actors. We will provide you with the schedule of planned events soon.
- Are high-level visits planned within EXPO-2017?
- Visits are on agenda. We are looking forward to visits on highest level as well as to high-level visits. The leader of the country took part in the exhibition in Shanghai in 2010 and in Milan in 2015.
- Could you please tell us about the most interesting in your opinion projects which visitors will see at the exhibition?
- We are preparing a separate event for mass-media where we will disclose details of the program of Russian section, pavilion and cultural events. It is scheduled for the end of March – beginning of April.