Green energy generation for each house holding

Owners of small renewable energy units (RESs) will be allowed not only to tap into power lines but also to surrender a part of their own produced energy. Deputy RF Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich commissioned field-specific departments to develop a plan for the enhancement of micro generation capacities.  

According to the official document,  generating units with installed capacity up to 15 kWt are considered as micro-generating RESs. As of now, any private person can become a full-fledged   power producer.  However, so far, this is not true for multi-apartment buildings.    

While it is not prohibited to purchase and install RESs, at the present time, one can use them only for private needs, without linking to the general power network.  The new developments will allow particular user to tap into a power line using a counter operating both ways, i.e., for power receipt and transmission.   With that, power supply companies will be obliged to purchase the energy.  According to the plan, the buy/sell price should amount to the average weighted non-regulated wholesale market price.   

The order of commissioning equipment for RES power production will become easier.  If there is no need of alteration of the existing technical connection, then only notification procedure is needed to put equipment into operation and it is only necessary to get registered.  To surrender extra power produced over the house holding needs, a simplified order for technical connections will be established.   

The owners will be obliged to pay for installation of the two-way power counters.  However, the revenue from realization of the surplus of power produced for the owner’s house holding shall not ne be taxed, the official document says.    

A positive outcome of the new developments will be the fact that consumers will be officially allowed to take their own choice of power supply and to become micro-producers.  Another major advantage is that the possibility to join the general network will spare of the need to purchase expensive energy storage systems, because the surplus can be surrendered into the network with no damage to the equipment.  This makes exploitation of RESs a lot less cost-intensive and better accessible for ordinary citizens. 

From the viewpoint of renewable energy advocates, measures for the micro generation development and inclusion of small-scale producers into the general process are a well-justified step. However, some experts believe that Russian authorities, not really interested in investing in RESs development, found this way to be the least burdensome for them variant.  Not too long ago, the RF Government decided to reduce the amount of the reverse power operating based on renewable energy sources (e.g., nearly in two times for small hydro generation).  RF Ministry of Energy justified this with the growth of financial loading upon users.  

“Measures for micro generation development may have positive impact on both formation of public attitude towards the renewable energy and the increase of the quota of RESs exploitation on the all-nation scale,” Olga Senova, Climate Secretariat of the Russian Social Ecological Union, believes.  “However, we hope that these processes will be going on without any negative impact on the industrial RES power generation.”  

According to Dvorkovich’s order, appropriate authorities (Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Economic Development, and the Federal Anti-Monopoly Service) should present to the Government a draft plan of the events for stimulating micro generation development already before April 1, 2017.