Development of alternative energy in the regions

April 22, 2016 18:23

The Alternative Energy Development Programme has been reinforced with the Directive No 3 “Economy and thrift”, which envisages usage of local fuels and improved energy efficiency. However, in practice, the alternative energy development is blocked by the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

The Alternative Energy Development Programme has been reinforced with the Directive No 3 “Economy and thrift”, which envisages usage of local fuels and improved energy efficiency. However, in practice, the alternative energy development is blocked by the construction of the Belarusian nuclear power plant.

The political weight of the future nuclear power plant, which is constructed in the Grodno region, outweighs the energy policy shift towards renewable energy sources. In practice, the implementation of the energy efficiency programme is often reduced to Belenergo formal reports. Alternative energy development has experimental, rather than systemic nature and has no significant impact on energy policy, despite its potential to actually increase the country’s energy security. 

The International Network for Sustainable Energy INFORSE report says Belarus has a great potential in the development of wind energy and almost unexploited opportunities of biomass (wood and straw). Belarus also has the potential for biogas and solar energy. With appropriate reforms and changes in the energy policy Belarus could reduce the consumption of primary energy to produce heat and electricity by 25% or more over the next two decades. 

Currently about 150 facilities use renewable energy, their installed capacity is 139.2655 MW. More than half of them (69) use wood and other biomass, 39 use natural water flow energy. Other renewable energy used in the country is the energy of the sun (15 sites), biogas (14), wind (8), and geothermal (4). 93 facilities are privately owned.

Existing facilities have generating capacity from renewable energy over 505,109.7 thousand kWh of electricity per year and 893,295.443 GCal of heat per year. They can save more than 114,802.6 tons of fuel a year.

In the long term four new renewable energy facilities will be commissioned: two plants using wind energy (Mogilev region), one using solar energy and one using hydropower, with overall capacity 1.4 MW. 

Alternative energy is intensively developed in the European countries to rely on clean, renewable sources of electricity.

Belarus, unfortunately, stakes on costly and dangerous nuclear power, which could result in reduced funding of researches on alternative sources and delay the launch of construction of alternative energy facilities in the near and distant future.