Sverdlovsk Oblast Low-Carbon Strategy – the challenge to reduce carbon fuel consumption

Ural 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.

EkaterinburgThe document dealing with low-carbon development of the region was developed as part of the Russian-British project called Creating the basis for low-carbon development in Russia on the regional level supported by the Ministry of Industry and Science of Sverdlovsk region. It includes contributions of specialists from the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Sverdlovsk Region and the Ural Federal University.

According to the authors, in Russia, unlike other leading European countries, there is no federal legislation that would set strict GHG emissions limits for economic agents and deal with market mechanisms in this field. Implementation of such limit values is beyond the regional administration’s capacity. Thus, until this kind of legislative framework is created, the implementation of the low-carbon strategy is based on the official documents in the field of energy efficiency.

The authors of the Concept have studied international commitments regarding GHG emissions reduction, have analyzed current federal and regional legislation, have traced the connection between the low-carbon strategy, the one of fuel and industry complex development and the environmental strategy, have assessed the current situation in terms of energy saving potential and GHG emissions reduction and have made predictions for further developments until 2020. Besides, they estimated the energy saving potential for final consumers and the potential of using renewable energy sources.

The prognoses of GHG emissions were based on prognoses of fuel consumption and electricity and heat consumption by power stations. In addition the authors studied an inertial development scenario with regard to the current economical crisis. Given the innovative development scenario drafted by the Agency for balance prognoses in the energy sector that implies the realization of the Industrial Ural – Polar Ural investment project, increased GHG emissions are possible.

According to the Ural Centre for Energy Efficiency and Environment, in order to reach the emissions reduction targets by 2020 Sverdlovsk region would have to reduce its fuel consumption by 852 thousand tons of standard fuel per year compared to the baseline scenario.

By and large, the experts assume that the adoption of a GHG emissions target of 75% of the 1990 emissions level is quite realistic. This goal may be achieved given the implementation of the planned energy efficiency measures.

The meeting decided to advise to the related Ministries of the region to give consideration to the final materials of the Russian-British project and to prepare suggestions on adding a chapter on low-carbon development into the strategic documents of Sverdlovsk region social and economical development until 2020 and on making corrections in the related field-based chapters of the Scheme of development and allocation of production forces.

The authors of the Strategy expect the executive powers to ensure a regular GHG emissions inventory and that of industrial and municipal waste, to create a specialized body to coordinate forces and promote the development and implementation of the low-carbon strategy as well as the development of special legislation to ensure the Strategy’s implementation.

It is important to notice that the proposed measures and the entire Strategy are fully in line with the measures included in the Energy Saving Program of Sverdlovsk region.

The project’s initiators hope that the experience of Sverdlovsk region may serve as an example to the whole country…

The project initiators consider this experience may be useful for the whole Russia, and hope that Ural region could play a role of pilot test site on the development of Kyoto mechanisms.

According to Gennady Raschupkin, Ural Ecological Union’s managing director, the Concept of low-carbon development presented by scientists fully corresponds to the public vision of the region’s development presented earlier. He mentioned, that “the Strategy encompassed the main global trends: based on the collected data the project authors prove that the low-carbon future in not mere reality but a necessity and the only possible development scenario for the region which will ensure that the social and environmental well-being and possibilities for citizens’ self-realization are achieved with regard to the territory’s environmental assets and without harming the nature. Energy efficiency and innovations are an effective measure by using which we may substantially advance in creating a brand new socially-oriented economy.”