Ulyanovsk Region Is Among Leaders in Renewable Energy Sector
The region took the ninth place among 66 federal subjects of Russia according to the first comprehensive investment rating for renewable energy sector in 2020.
The research was conducted by the Russia Renewable Energy Development Association (RREDA). The expert community gave the Ulyanovsk region the first place for its open government policy and interest in development of renewable energy sources. The region also took the fourth place on the share of renewable energy in the power balance, and the fifth one in industrial development of the renewable energy sector.
According to Anatoly Chubais, Co-Chairman of RREDA and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for Relations with International Organizations to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals, the country did not even have the renewable energy sector several years ago, and today it is one of the fastest growing industries. He mentioned the Ulyanovsk region that laid the foundation for the new industry. Today not only does the region have its own renewable energy sources and a whole production sector, but it also carries out scientific research and training.
“The Ulyanovsk region has once again demonstrated its investment potential. Our high place in the rating proves that our achievements and efforts over the past decade are recognized, as well as the joint work carried out by our huge team and the government. As a result of their activities, a new high-tech cluster has been established. It includes power generation, production of components, training and research. Today, this sphere is supported by Acting Governor Aleksey Russkikh,” said Alexander Smekalin, Acting Chairman of the Government of Ulyanovsk Region.
Currently, the region has a fully functional innovative cluster of alternative energy sources. Two wind farms with the total capacity of 85 MW were built and commissioned. The one opened in early 2018 was the first in the Russian Federation. All generated energy is supplied to the Unified Energy System of Russia.
According to Alexander Cherepan, Minister of Energy, Public Utilities and Urban Environment of Ulyanovsk Region, the wind energy covers about 8% of the Ulyanovsk region's electricity demand. He explained that in the near future, other areas of renewable energy generation will undergo comprehensive development. Solar Systems will start building two 19.6-MW solar power plants in Melekessky District this year. Investments into this project will amount to 1.94 billion rubles. By 2030, the share of renewable energy generated by such facilities in the Ulyanovsk region will reach 30%.
As part of the programme for localization of components for the renewable energy sector, Vestas (Denmark) came to the region and opened the only plant in Russia for production of wind turbine blades in 2019. Sergey Vasin, CEO of the Ulyanovsk Region Development Corporation, said that the company utilizes a unique technology of blade production based on composite materials, which is also used to create a so-called “black wing” for MS-21 aircraft. Today, the plant has more than 500 employees. The first blades were shipped for export in 2020.