Ministry of Energy Sees No Need in Municipal FEBs

11 november 2016

“We need comprehensive data to understand how Russia’s energy system is currently operating. Fuel and Energy Balances (FEBs) are actually an all-important source of data at all levels of government,” said Alexander Kurdin, an expert of the Analytical Center, when opening a round table on Forming the Fuel and Energy Balance in Russia and Regions.

Sergey Filippov, Director of the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (ERIRAS) spoke about the methodology for building national and regional FEBs and about related issues. "The key issue with developing a FEB is that statistical data we have is incomplete and of poor quality. We need a generally accepted adjustment methodology,” the expert believes. “We also lack a harmonized framework of federal and territorial FEBs.” Filippov believes that building forecast national and regional FEBs that are mutually aligned requires a common social and economic framework, i. e., national and regional social and economic development forecasts. The experts see another issue for the industry in how the FEB framework is currently regulated.

"Existing guidelines for building the balances were good for the planned economy of the Soviet Union, as in Soviet times the energy forecast was used as a regulatory goal-setting document. In a market economy, this approach is untenable as it results in gaps and imbalances," says Alexey Kulapin, Head of Department of State Energy Policy, Russian Ministry of Energy. The expert believes that we need to consider today’s market economy and improve data collection. Kulapin also explained that a high-quality FEB requires a long-term forecast and a national social and economic development strategy that are non-existent today.

As to regional and municipal energy balances, in some cases no FEB can be prepared at the regional and municipal levels, the expert noted. "At the same time, we see no need in municipal FEBs, while we do need to address the issue of regional balances," Kulapin stressed.

During the event, experts discussed the use of FEBs in strategic planning of the Russian energy industry, and examined their role in promoting regional power systems and enhancing energy efficiency and energy security. Experts believe that the current situation warrants a range of measures, including appropriate data collection, a unified and transparent FEB qualification process, and a better regulatory framework.

The event was organized jointly by the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation, Non-commercial Partnership “Russian Gas Society” and the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.