The session "The World Electric Power Industry of the New Time: Challenges and Opportunities" was held at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum with the support of Rosseti, at which Andrey Ryumin, Director General of the company made a speech. Nikolai Shulginov, the Minister of Energy of Russia, Michel Ogonnet, President of CIGRE, and the heads of Russian and foreign energy companies have joined the discussion. The topic of the meeting was the strategic priorities of the electric power industry in the context of the new economic reality, the development of digital technologies and renewable energy sources (RES), and the changes in consumer behavior patterns.
Nikolai Shulginov said that he expects the work in several areas, including strengthening the role of distributed power generation, digitalization, improving energy efficiency, and decarbonization, which includes the development of hydrogen energy and renewable energy sources.
"Large-scale grid construction is required to integrate large volumes of RES into the energy system. According to the estimates, such construction volume shall be twice as high by 2040 as compared with what has been built as of today in relation to networks in 130 years. Large-scale investments in digital technologies are required in all sectors of energy production, distribution and consumption," the Minister underlined.
Andrey Ryumin noted that the current trends affect the landscape of the energy system, but also create incentives and opportunities for the development. At the same time, a balance is required between the reliability of electric supply, the desire to apply innovative solutions, and economic feasibility.
"The infrastructure is conservative, but our life is no longer possible without the state-of-art technologies, the changes in business processes and digitalization. We are applying and will be more actively implementing VR simulators for personnel training, unmanned aerial vehicles and satellite observations for monitoring the condition, control of the construction of linear-type facilities, and other solutions. If we refer to the technologies that can transform the industry, we can name energy storage systems. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the development of remote services. Rosseti has converted most of its operations with consumers to electronic form," Director General of Rosseti said.
He also drew attention to the issues arising in connection with the sharp increase of RES in the matrix of energy supply. The example of other countries shows that such solutions lead to an increase of costs in the related areas, for example, in the network complex - for the creation of infrastructure for connecting new power generation. Therefore, the state, energy companies, and consumers have to find a balanced solution for implementing new technologies, Andrey Ryumin said.