"Development of micro renewable energy sources holds a lot of promise for Russia but it still has not been included in government plans. The reason for that is technical and regulatory problems," Vladislav Onischenko, First Deputy Head of the Analytical Center, said as he opened a round table on the development prospects of micro-retail generating facilities based on renewable energy sources. " Our goal is to identify the objective conditions and offer the government ways to support entrepreneurship in this area."
"Even though we are already seeing some change there, we would like to find out what else can be changed," noted Evgeniy Gasho, adviser with the Department for Expert Analytics of the Analytical Center, who was moderating the event.
Deputy Head of the Department for the Development of the Power Industry of the Ministry of Energy of Russia Andrey Maximov talked about his ministry's position on the issue. According to him, an implementation schedule is currently being developed for the implementation of a project for the development of micro renewable energy sources, which is going to be submitted for review by April 1, so that by the summer draft regulations can be submitted for approval to federal executive authorities. "We are proposing a number of simplifications in the procedures for connecting units of up to 15KW to generation grids and for selling excess generation to local suppliers at wholesale prices," Mr. Maximov expanded on the details.
Nikolai Driga, who owns an autonomous house equipped with windmills and solar panels, talked about his experience installing and running local generation equipment, making special mention of the fact that condition had to be created to allow excess energy to be returned to the national grid, so the owner of renewable energy sources can recoup their investments.
In reply, the deputy head of a department of the Federal Anti-monopoly Service, Aleksey Voronin, noted that the basic idea behind stimulating local generation should be the possibility of offsetting energy costs with consumers rather than the notion that consumers can sell excess energy back to the utilities.
The consumer should be able to choose between laying a cable or installing their own local generation equipment, according to the head of the Tariff Rates Regulation Unit of the Ministry for Economic Development Andrey Gabov. In his opinion, in the future this will make power utilities think of ways to reduce the cost of wholesale electricity.
The participants in the round table were very much interested in discussing the prospects of micro retail.