Energy infrastructure accessibility increase: from metropolitan concept to new national standards

Energy infrastructure accessibility increase: from metropolitan concept to new national standards 28.02.2017

As a part of Russian Investment Forum currently underway in Sochi General Director of PJSC “Rosseti” Oleg Budargin took part in a panel discussion “Energy Infrastructure Accessibility Increase: “From metropolitan concept to new national standards”, held on February 27.

Alexander Novak, Russian Energy Minister, said the issue of power infrastructure accessibility was very important for the country, small- and medium-sized business and for each Russian citizen. The economic growth rates, business activity and business climate all depend on accessibility of the power infrastructure.

In his speech Budargin highlighted that over the last several years the events aimed at increasing power grid connection accessibility had yielded considerable results. The project’s primary goal was to create normal conditions for developing territories and connecting to consumers' power grids. This goal serves the interests of Rosseti, regions and consumers. Budargin stressed that the project is focused on a new consumer to create new jobs and costs. The first stage is successfully achieved, he said, adding that all major decisions at the federal and regional levels are already made. At present, it is necessary to improve the system and move forward.

The head of Rosseti emphasized that it was necessary to rivet much attention both to physical accessibility and financial aspect, as well as to integration reliability and safety. Currently a good foundation for significant regional economic growth has been achieved. Over past four years the number of applications for technological connection from citizens, small- and medium-sized business has increased by 53%. Initially major enterprises in Siberia and Far East should are to be integrated with no charge; power system debts are payable within three or five at energy rates.

“Today we're losing at least 2000 rubles on each kilowatt within new customer’s connection i.e. we're connecting future consumers at the expense of our current users. It is important for any consumer to have an adequate rate. Now contracts between new customers and power grids are made directly without involving retail companies and local authorities,” he said.

Marina Kovtun, Governor of Murmansk Region, shared her experience of activities in the region. She noted that the increase of accessibility to the power infrastructure is important for each region. However, much depends on the well-coordinated work both of power grids and local authorities' balanced and wise policy that should respect the interests of both consumers and suppliers. According to her, connection accessibility is affected by applicants’ responsibility for fulfilling technical conditions and consumption of stated resources. Connection accessibility has its impact on integrated evaluation of region's investment potential. The list of procedures is subject to optimization and reduction.

In his speech Kirill Dmitriyev, General Director of Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), scoped out a big picture related to increasing connection accessibility with regard to projects' investment potential.

He believes that the creation of a series of highly sought investment products in power industry could qualitatively increase its energy efficiency. The joint work between RDIF and Rosseti to install intelligent counter mechanisms in pilot regions has reduced losses by 20%. This project can be spread along the entire country.

Alexander Kalinin, president of the All Russian public organization of small- and medium-sized entrepreneurship “OPORA Rossii” said the situation in the regions proved to be different. Moscow and St. Petersburg are doing fine. The economy in Tyumen region has grown by 5.0% due to solving the issue of technological connection to power grids. Power grid, technical and technological policies must be centralized in one place. It would ensure the growth reserves together with regions and consumers.

In addition, Kalinin pointed out that the municipal authorities should also solve problems regarding the land-use system together with utility providers and consumers. In his view it is necessary to transform into double-rate tariffs as in Europe and the United States when a consumer pays both for consumption and connecting capacity.

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