The Role and Future Outlook for Renewable Energy in the Arctic Zone of Russian Federation
The development of the Arctic zone of the Russian Federation (the Russian Arctic) aims to enhance the social and economic growth of the region in line with the priorities set forth by the state policy and address a range of socio-economic issues. As the Russian Arctic offers an array of hydrocarbons and renewables available in the context of the region's unbalanced infrastructural and manufacturing development and extreme climatic environment, the conditions dictate the need for an integrated use of the Arctic's energy resources. Energy security of a region is a primary contributor to its social and economic sustainability. Key energy users in the Russian Arctic include both large and local load consumers that have to operate against the background of economic and logistic difficulties related to power supply. The Russian Arctic can offer a wide range of energy resources, but individual areas are facing power shortage. These challenges are particularly relevant for the Arctic regions in Siberia and the Far East, and to a lesser extent for the Murmansk and Arkhangelsk regions as the areas are covered by the capabilities of the Unified Energy System of Russia. Energy challenges and discrepant development plans for the power and manufacturing sectors create major barriers that slow down the social and economic development of the areas. Our analysis demonstrated that the role of unconventional and renewable energy in power generation and energy mix of the Russian Arctic will remain insignificant in the short term.