It is time for the Russian energy producers to move to high-tech market


In a short time energy technologies will change beyond recognition. This is the opinion of participants of the seminar "Technological vectors in the energy sector and the prospects for the venture technology business" held in Moscow. Experts in the field of business and power see not only technological but also economic incentives for renewable energy development in Russia.

At the seminar organized by Russian Venture Company, intentions to establish in Russia the first energy venture capital fund were announced. This form of financial investment is not new in the world economy, but almost never used in Russia. Venture capital funds are partnerships to invest capital in businesses that are of too high risk for conventional forms of investments. This form is also called "seed" one, designed for growth in the future. As a rule, it is long-term investment in future high returns. In world practice, venture capital is typically used for development of innovative industries. That is how many successful IT-projects came to the big market.

According to Vladimir Feigin, the Director of the Institute for Energy and Finance, energy production is highly innovative sector. The expert considers the current phase as transition one for the development of world energy production. He says that there will be a lot of technological breakthroughs and changes. "Humanity today has no sufficiently effective methods for large-scale storage of electricity. Vast resources are used in the hope to achieve breakthroughs here, and the breakthroughs will enable the relevant economies, companies, etc. take place in this new large market. Energy production is transformed from the traditional sector into the sector that requires this high-tech."

"Now all economic issues are closely linked to the problem of emissions.” - says Russian Venture Company CEO Igor Agamirzyan. He adds, that in developed countries, all policies, all trends are analyzed, taking into account the contribution which this or that technology makes to the future reduction in emissions. For the economy of our country, it is extremely important to be ready for transfer to the new generation of technology. Our country has all the prerequisites for development of renewable energy and for the use of venture capital - there is order of the President of the Russian Federation, which states the need to develop mechanisms that would allow participation of state companies in venture capital funds set off under innovative development. “It really is pure psychology and tradition that hinder development of new technologies” – Agamirzyan concludes.

In conditions when the federal Government declaratively supports the idea of alternative energy and invest no money in, namely business and private-state partnerships can become an engine for green development.

True, there are serious concerns that such schemes can become corrupt. It is very possible in Russia. However, relatively low-cost renewable energy is not very likely to compete with the traditional one in this regard.