Some interesting news recently went unnoticed. Indeed, last month, Russia unveiled a massive energy efficiency plan as the country wastes as much energy as the French economy consumes.
Soviet-era buildings and factories completely lack energy efficiency as they were built as cheaply as possible to answer the demands of the government at that time.
But this might soon change. The Moscow Times recently noted that:
Promoting energy efficiency is one of the priorities of Medvedev’s modernization program and includes a goal to cut the amount of energy spent per unit of economic output by 40 percent by 2020.
The country is estimated to use 2.5 times more energy to produce a given amount of goods and services than the world average.
To solve this, Dmitry Medvedev’s government will invest no less than $300 billion in order to cut the amount of energy spent per unit of economic output by 40 percent by 2020.
The recent heat waves and related events as well as the prices of energy have pushed the local government to start acting on climate change.
It is estimated that the efforts will enable the population and companies to save an estimated $35 billion on energy per year.
Russia is the world’s first natural gas producer and has ample reserves. Local selling prices are fixed by the State and this drastically slows energy efficiency efforts and behavioral changes.
Additionally, 13 millions smart meters will be installed over the next ten years
Beyond energy efficiency, Russia is also working on implementing renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and hydro power.
Recycling is also gaining some interest as RBTH notes :
Russia’s Natural Resources and Environment Ministry also drafted a bill in August to promote recycling. The legislation would require factories to recycle the material they currently throw away.
Pulp and paper factories could easily sell much of their waste to biofuel plants, resulting in economic gains for them as well as reduced waste.
Will the country join the cleantech arms race? Only time will tell.
Photo :Ed Yourdon