The global greenhouse gas emissions have stabilized at 36 billion tonnes per year, but that is hardly enough to prevent long term climate change, Analytical Center experts note in their new bulletin on energy efficiency as a way to prevent climate change.
The analysts believe that it is important to increase energy efficiency through the use of new technologies being introduced, among other things, as a result of modernization of property plant and equipment. Russia has programs to improve energy efficiency that are already producing some results, especially given the relatively slow pace of economic growth. The analysts believe that if more attention was paid to energy efficiency, financial resources would be reallocated from the development of new hydrocarbon deposits to satisfying the modern needs of the economy. "It should be noted that the Russian economy exports some 1% of the global primary energy in such products as metals, chemical products, fertilizers and paper while consuming some 5% of the global primary energy," the experts write in their study.
Special attention was paid to monotowns dependent on coal mining (29 towns with a total population of 1.5 million people). The analysts believe that the problems of monotowns in the fuel and energy sector are both industry-related and regional in nature: the risks of deterioration in their situation are tightly linked to the coal industry and here there are several regions that are most exposed, with the worst affected being the Kemerovo region.
The experts are of the opinion that in order to solve these problems measures must be put in place aimed at restructuring the coal industry, seeking out new markets to sell the local coal in (for instance, fuel-oil fired boilers can be reconfigured to use local coal and new coal fired power plants could be built) as well as diversifying the economy of the monotowns both by implementing major projects (for example a new oil refinery is being built in Anzhero-Sudzhensk and a new greenhouse complex has been built in Kaltan), and by promoting the development of small and medium sized businesses. In addition, the Monotown Development Fund has been set up to co-finance monotown projects. Monotown could also be given the status of accelerated development territories which would give them preferential tax regimes.
For more information see the bulletin on energy efficiency as a way to prevent climate change.
For other issues of the Energy Bulletin, see the Publications section.