Peretok Light: highlights of the Russian and global power sectors for 18 to 24 February
The Ministry of Energy is going to discuss further support for renewable energy sources after the KOMMOD completion.
Last week, it became clear that despite the final approval and launch of the selection procedure, the domestic heat power industry renovation program with an investment volume of about 1.9 trillion rubles continues to make the headlines in the energy sector. On Wednesday, February 20, it transpired that the Ministry of Energy had suspended the preparation of proposals to support “green” energy after 2024 (until this time, the current program, PSA (Power Supply Agreement) RES is in effect. The core ministry said it was necessary to analyze the results of the “storm selection” for the renovation program: the volume of the money saved, which is planned to be reallocated in favor of nuclear power plants (NPPs) and renewable energy sources (RESs), depends on the results of the competitive power take-off (“KOM”) program (scheduled to be completed in late April). The Market Council believes that up to 2035, out of the consumer funds released in the course of the first KOM program completion, 1.3 trillion rubles might turn out to be “unclaimed” due to the renovation program.
On the eve of the renovation selection, most market participants prefer to work with regulators, refraining from any public comments; individual generators announced the total cost of the projects put up for the competition. Against this background, “Tatenergo” and the Tatarstan authorities appear to stand apart, actively promoting the Zainsk HEPP renovation project. The initiators plan to implement it in 2023, having obtained for it more than 40% of the Russian annual renovation quota. The regional authorities have been regularly reminding us about this project in the public spotlight for the last month and even decided to sign a non-binding agreement of intent with a potential equipment supplier, Siemens, long before the renovation selection.
Mechanical engineers continue to demonstrate noticeable activity in the PR space of the energy sector: companies are interested in supplying equipment as part of the renovation program. The most input intensive issue remains the localization of medium and high power gas turbine production. At the launch of the program, the main focus is on updating steam power plants; the projects of replacing them with combined-cycle plants (CCPs) is most likely to become part of the program only on the non-market basis — benefiting from the 15% quota of the government commission. Under these conditions, market participants are increasingly asking themselves questions why they should allocate budget financing and place non-market orders for the development of domestic CCGT plants the demand for which they will subsequently have to create artificially. Against this background, Western suppliers are proactively promoting the idea of localizing the production of the existing CCGT plants in Russia. On February 19, in yet another interview, the head of Siemens in Russia, Alexander Liberov, said that his company was ready to speed up the process of localizing the most needed 187 MW turbine.
Last week brought two important pieces of news for power engineers from the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS). On Thursday, February 21, the government supported the anti-monopolist idea to limit the right of the RF regions to exceed the established threshold levels of electricity transmission tariffs. So far, the regions have used the opportunity to set about 15% of network tariffs. It is assumed that now the bill will be sent for approval to the Russian Parliament.
The next day, on February 22, it transpired that the FAS had developed a clear procedure for calculating the network energy tariff cross-subsidization in each RF region. The project has yet to be agreed at the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Energy, but the latter has already informally supported the anti-monopolist initiative: determining the specific volume of cross-subsidization in each region (in kopecks per 1 kWh) will help not only to make subsidization more transparent but also to avoid secondary cross-subsidization between customers at different voltage levels.