Electricity in Russia

Electricity in Russia
Electricity in Russia
A broad breakdown of installed capacity by type is presented in Table 3. This shows the thermal power plant capacity to be 151,708MW. There was in addition 46,851MW of hydropower, and 24,541MW of nuclear power. Thermal capacity in Russia is a mixture of coal and gas-fired generation, and many of the thermal plants also provide district heating. Meanwhile gas-fired power plants provide most of the thermal plant output. The majority of the country’s hydropower plants are all operated by RusHydro, which has over 70 ‘renewable energy source facilities’ according to its website (most of which are likely to be hydropower plants), and a total installed capacity of 37,500MW. Nuclear plants are operated by Rosatom. The nuclear company has ten power stations, and a total of 33 nuclear reactors in operation.
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Russia is the largest country in the world, but with only the tenth largest population. It is also one of the most richly endowed with fossil fuel resources including oil, natural gas, and coal. The country produces large volumes of both natural gas and oil for export, but is the third largest user of natural gas in the world, and it has a very high energy intensity, three times the typical level of the developed world. The electricity sector in Russia is characterized by an ageing thermal power plant fleet, high subsidy levels, and low tariffs, which make it difficult for private sector companies to operate competitively. A major sector reorganization, during the last decade, was supposed to usher in a fully open market for electricity. While some of these reforms have been successful, others remain incomplete, and the sector has been described as a ‘regulated’ free market . The country needs to replace up to 100GW of thermal capacity by the end of the decade, as well as building new capacity to meet growing demand. The transmission system needs expanding too, with large regions still not served by the Unified Grid. However foreign private sector investment in the industry has been limited, with both the political, and the investment conditions - making investors wary. This means that without significant change most investment will have to come from within Russia. Attempts are underway to increase tariffs to reflect market costs, but this reform could take the rest of the decade to complete. There are significant opportunities in Russia, but these are currently tempered by both the financial limitations, and a perceived lack of transparency.

This report is a Country Profile, covering:-

  • Power generation capacity by fuel input
  • Electricity networks
  • Current power market trends
  • Generation growth
  • Investment opportunities
  • Future project plans


  • An overview of the electricity market in Russia.
  • Power supply data covering production, imports and exports and the main production sources.
  • Power demand data by market sector and tariff data.
  • An overview of the structure of the electricity sector with government and private sector companies as well as the regulatory status.
  • Power demand forecasts and the development of the power sector to meet expected growth.
  • Transmission system expansion plans.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Proven oil reserves in Russia were 80bn barrels (bbl) at the beginning of 2013, the eighth largest in the world.
  • Russia is home to the largest reserves of natural gas in the world. Reserves in 2013 were estimated to be 47,800bn m3, or around one quarter of the global proven reserves.
  • Gross theoretical hydropower capacity in the Russian Federation was put at 2,295TWh/y by the World Energy Council, while the economically exploitable capability was estimated to be 852TWh/y.
  • The electricity system in Russia includes 700 power plants with capacities of over 5MW.
  • The transmission and distribution system in Russia is fragmented. According to the Russian Energy Forecasting Agency, it comprises 69 regional energy systems, which are formed into seven integrated energy systems.

Key Questions Answered

  • How does Russia generate its electricity?
  • What is the status of the national electricity market?
  • What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  • Who are the key players in market?
  • What are the future prospects for investment in Russia?

Date Published / Pages / Format

March 2014 / 43 / PDF