Energy efficiency

For the first time the US extracted more shale gas than Russia, the former leader in “blue gold” mining. Will this energy source satisfy the growing demand? Experts claim that increasing the share of shale gas helps reduce carbon emissions and thus fight climate change. Although NGOs reckon that this energy alternative is hardly to become an environmental panacea.

Governor of Krasnoyarsk region has commissioned to find the funds for a wide-scale implementation of energy saving street lighting technologies in the region. Changing street light bulbs to LED lighting will reduce energy costs by 30% with a 6-year long payback time. Krasnoyarsk expects to receive 500 mln rubles from the federal budget to support energy saving measures.

A few days ago Lufthansa became the first commercial airline that announced the start for using biological renewable fuel on a regular flight between Hamburg and Frankfurt. There are no similar ambitious projects in Russia. However, participants of the workshop "Prospects, problems and risks of 'green' technologies" held in Yekaterinburg are sure, that the use of biofuels in our country has great future.

Authorities in several Russian cities declare their intention to give "green light" to cyclists. Representatives of environmental organizations are sure that such initiatives of municipal authorities will reduce air pollution in the Russian cities and emissions of greenhouse gases.

At the UN climate negotiations Russia is still taking a stand against the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP) after 2012. The opportunities granted by the first commitment period are largely missed by Russia, since only 32 projects have been approved and many investors have left the country. The President has called for the maximum use of KP mechanisms in the remaining 18 months. Russia’s participation in the second period is very important in order to unite global action for climate change mitigation. But even without the KP Russia’s national interests and priorities in international affairs will lead the country to the obvious need to reduce our emissions as an integral part of modernization aimed at increasing energy efficiency of the country’s economy.

ЕкатеринбургUral Centre for Energy Efficiency and Environment presented The Concept and Main Directions of Sverdlovsk Region’s Low-Carbon Development Strategy until 2020. To reach the target – 75 % of emission 1990 to 2020, the region should reduce its carbon fuel consumption by 852 thousand tons.

April 6 to 8, 2011 a media tour was held in Murmansk region in order to introduce journalists and NGO activists to local examples of low-carbon solutions, among them: the energy efficient block in the town of Apatity, a wind power turbine in Murmansk and the use of geothermal heat pumps for buildings. The tour concluded with a press conference in the Murmansk press center of Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper where the tour’s organizers – Olga Senova of RSEU Climate Secretariat and Friends of the Baltic NGO, Elena Kruglikova of Kola Environmental Center and Vitaly Servetnik of Nature and Youth held their speeches.

A public report entitled Low-carbon future: Ural perspectives was presented in Yekaterinburg. It provides the analysis of the situation in Sverdlovsk region and evaluates opportunities and examples of low-carbon solutions in the region. The low-carbon way would prompt economic growth along with emissions reduction in different spheres of the economy.

The Ministry of Economic Development has proposed a draft document, according to which the energy efficiency of goods purchased for the needs of budget organizations would meet the highest level. According to RSEU, apart from the requirements the state shall introduce financial incentives for domestic producers to increase energy efficiency of their products, for buyers to increase demand for such products, and conduct extensive outreach on importance of energy efficiency.

On Friday 11 March, the Norwegian Government has decided not to open offshore waters in the archipelagos of Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja island for oil drilling. Marine waters off the Lofoten Islands are of particular value to the ecosystem of the Atlantic Ocean. This region is one of the most beautiful in Norway.

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