Crimea’s Solar & Wind Power Plants In Limbo

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Crimea solar power plants and wind power plants are facing an uncertain future according to recent reports.

After the region’s move to join the Russian Federation a few months ago, the power plants saw their power purchase agreements with the Ukrainian state-owned utility Energorynok cancelled. With the loss of those agreements, the plants were forced to shutter operations for the time being — leaving them in their present state of limbo.

Image Credit: Russian Flag via Flickr CC
Image Credit: Russian Flag via Flickr CC

Not surprising of course, given the political turmoil, but still unfortunate to see fully functional renewable energy power plants shut down for reasons like this. It’ll be interesting to see what the ultimate fate of the plants will be, as there are a number of interesting possibilities.

As it stands currently, Russia is working to make up for the energy shortfall created by the loss of energy imported from Ukraine (~80%) via natural gas — but a longer-term electricity plan is currently in the works as well. Whether or not that will include renewables, though, is still unclear.

That’s not something that you would necessarily think is a question given the fact that nearly 7% of Crimea’s power demand was previously met by the region’s solar plants (from 300 MW of projects), but with the murky politics involved in the projects it isn’t all as cut-and-dry as you might think.

For one, the feed-in-tariff rates established under the previous President, Viktor Yanykovych, are likely not long for the world. Not surprising considering that they were highest FiT rates in Europe.

And two, the political instability makes further investment in the region unlikely. At least until things calm down anyway.

When taken altogether, the future of renewable energy in the region is as hard to predict as the future of anything else there — hopefully solid moves will begin to be made, though, ending the shuttering of the perfectly good power plants.

In related news — Russia recently revealed its expectation that investment into the country’s solar industry would reach $4.2 annually by he year 2020. The prediction — made by the country’s Ministry of Energy — is that the state-owned investment giant Rusnano, and the Renova Group conglomeration, will play a significant role in the growth.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

James Ayre has 4830 posts and counting. See all posts by James Ayre

4 thoughts on “Crimea’s Solar & Wind Power Plants In Limbo

  • In due time, Crimea will be Ukrainian again and everything is going to be back to normal.
    It does not matter, how much effort and how many lives it will take.

    • Really? Any number of lives? Nothing is worth that. The right strategy – Obama’s – is to play the issue long. Repeat regularly for the record, firmly but without passion, that the annexation is illegal and not recognized. This was done for the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States in 1940. A mere 51 years later, they were independent again. Well before 2065, Russia will have a civilised government ready to make a deal. Perhaps a condominium, like Andorra.

  • There will be demonstrations within a year in Crimea as their standard of living drops. They will be disallousioned with Putin and all his promises. Looks good on them.

  • This isn’t a world politics forum, people.

Comments are closed.