Power generation

Russia remains one of the largest electricity producers in the world, behind only China, the USA, Japan and India. Strong electricity demand is driven by the relatively low energy efficiency of national industries. Therefore, this strong demand is linked to the challenges affecting the limited and ageing energy producing capacity, and explains the massive investment programs of power generating companies and the permanent growth of tariffs.

In 2015, electricity output in Russia increased by 2.1% year-on-year and reached 1,084 billion kW/h.

Russia’s power complex includes approximately 600 power plants, each with an individual capacity of over 5 MW. In 2015, the total capacity of Russian power plants amounted to 253.3 GW and exceeded the 2014 level by 3.9 GW. The growth was driven by construction of new power facilities and modernisation of existing infrastructure.

The power industry has the following components of generation: thermal plants (68%), hydraulic (21%), nuclear (approximately 11%).

The long-term outlook of the Russian power industry is influenced by the “General scheme of energy development for the period till 2020”.

Thermal power plants

In 2015, Russia’s overall thermal power plant installed capacity was 172.4 GW, up 2% year-on-year compared to 2014. The infrastructure in the thermal power sector is quite outdated, with almost 55% of the installed capacities being more than 30 years old. The main thermal power stations in Russia use organic fuels such as gas or coal.

Russian plants have an efficiency ratio of 37% compared to 41% for developed economies. This difference dictates the need for equipment upgrades by all major-power generating companies in Russia. This is also the reason why the technical modernisation and reconstruction of existing power stations is a primary goal for the Russian thermal power sector, in addition to the start-up of additional modern generating capacities.

Total investments grew by 3% year-on-year in 2015 and reached 390 billion rubles.

Nuclear power plants (NPP)

Russia has full-cycle technology for the nuclear industry from extraction of uranium ore to electric power generation. Currently, Rosenergoatom operates 34 nuclear power units with an overall installed capacity of 26 GW. They account for 18.6% of domestic electricity generation. The share of nuclear generation in the energy of the European part of Russia is 30% and in the North-West part of Russia the figure is 37%.

There is currently a process of large-scale nuclear power plant construction in Russia. The following construction projects are underway: the Novovoronezhskaya NPP Phase II, the Leningradskaya NPP Phase II, the Baltic NPP, and the world’s first floating nuclear co-generation plant named “Akademik Lomonosov”. In 2015, the fourth reactor was completed at the Beloyarsk NPP (the physical start-up of the BN-800). In addition to Russia, Rosenergoatom is constructing nuclear power plants abroad, namely the Kudankulam NPP in India, the Bushehr NPP in Iran, the Ostrovets NPP in Belarus, the Ninh Thuan NPP -1 in Vietnam, a nuclear power station in Jordan, a nuclear power station in Armenia, and the Tianwan NPP the Second Stage in China.

Most of the 34 nuclear operating reactors in Russia are ageing: 80% of capacity has 20-40 year maturity. This has led to development of a largescale investment programme by the state operator Rosatom.

In 2015, electricity output grew by 8.1% year-on-year and reached 195.2 billion kW/h.

The estimated investments in nuclear power increased 9% year-on-year in 2015 and reached 350 billion rubles

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