Did you know the first utility-scale wind turbine was actually built in Russia?
I know, it’s hard to see the oil and gas giant as a front-runner in the renewable energy sector. But make no mistake, even this fossil-fuel powered country has room for clean energy.
Take for instance the village of Oktyabrsky, one of the richest fishing areas in the country. The village is rich in salmon and crabs, but only has a human population of 1,685.
Now, Oktyabrsky is in a situation similar to that of the U.S. state Alaska: it is far from the main energy grids and runs mostly on dirty diesel fuel. The fuel is the municipal area’s biggest expense.
However, in 2014 the village finally got a chance at relief from the monetary and health costs of diesel electro-generators…
Russia had begun a movement to add renewable energy sources to its Far East regions. The wind turbines now provide about 30% of Oktyabrsky’s energy needs, and they also reduced fuel costs and the smog that plagued the village’s air and water supplies.
Then there’s Batagai, a tiny town beyond the Arctic Circle, where the dead of winter is the only time one can travel; in the summer the roads flood with melted ice and snow, and residents live off of stored supplies of food and fuel for months at a time.
Even being connected to one of the world’s biggest oil and gas producers couldn’t save this village from being too rough to get regular supplies of fuel.
However, there is one benefit to being above the Arctic Circle: the sun is out 24 hours a day.
And in June, 2015, Batagai was able to start taking advantage of this weather phenomenon. RAO Energy Systems, a Russian energy utility company, has built a 4 megawatt solar farm, one of the largest found above the Arctic Circle.
These wind and solar installations are incredibly small compared to some of the projects currently being built in the U.S., China, Australia, India, Germany, and even oil-rich Saudi Arabia. But it’s just another sign that the world – including fossil fuel producers like Russia – is moving toward cleaner energy sources.
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Until next time,
A true insider in the technology and energy markets, Keith’s research has helped everyday investors capitalize from the rapid adoption of new technology trends and energy transitions. Keith connects with hundreds of thousands of readers as the Managing Editor of Energy & Capital, as well as the investment director of Angel Publishing’s Energy Investor and Technology and Opportunity.
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