When it comes to energy production, Russia ranks among the top producers in the world. Unfortunately, majority of these are obtained from non-renewable resources like natural gas, coal, and oil. Needless to say, as to be expected from highly urbanized nations, the country suffers from pollution problems that are caused by these fossil-based energy sources.
The negative impact as well as the rising costs of oil and gas helped in jump-starting the country’s search for renewable and sustainable energy sources. In recent years, several companies were set up in Russia to develop the necessary technology and machinery to harness the power of the sun. The ongoing and upcoming solar projects are nothing short of promising.
Among the companies that are at the forefront in harnessing solar power in Russia is Hevel Solar. This is a firm established in 2009 with the main goal of finding ways to establish clean solar energy as a viable alternative to more conventional resources like oil and gas. The company focuses most of its attention in designing and producing photovoltaic modules. These are then integrated into the operation of photovoltaic systems that are used in homes and establishments all over Russia. The company’s production facility can be found in Novocheboksarsk which is very convenient as it’s only about 500 kilometers from the capital city of Moscow.
Among Hevel Solar’s most ambitious project to date is its agreement with the Russian construction firm Avelar to build at least 12 solar power plants within the Altai region. The project is expected to cost at least $147 million and if things go according to plan, all of the plants should be completed and operational by the year 2018. This deal is part of Hevel Solar’s mission to produce around 600 mega-watts of solar energy to be distributed all over Russia by 2020.
The agreement with Avelar is just one of the many steps towards accomplishing this goal.
Another company in Russia pursuing solar power production is Nitol Solar. With an estimated value of around $1 billion, Nitol Solar is a major player in the industry. Just a few years ago, the company signed a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars with the Rusnano Corporation to develop and produce polysilicone which is a main component of solar batteries. Another company called Xevel has also thrown its hat into the ring with a plan to build a solar power generating facility in the Buryatia region. The facility is expected to generate at least 25 mega-watts of solar energy. The company is also planning to take their technology to Siberia.
There is also no shortage of Russian companies that manufacture the needed hardware to harness the power of the sun. For instance, there’s Solar Wind LLC, a firm based in Krasnodar that specializes in making solar panels. A few years ago, the company entered into a deal worth $160 million to manufacture double-sided panels that are intended for domestic use. A huge benefit of this project is that it puts the consumption of solar power to the mainstream. Since the panels are more affordable as well as easier to install and use, more people will have access to them.
If we are to look at all of these recent developments, they paint a picture of Russia being serious and relentless in its pursuit of renewable and sustainable energy sources like solar power.
Gordon's expertise in the area of industrial energy efficiency and alternative energy. He is an experienced electrical engineer with a Masters degree in Alternative Energy technology. He is the co-founder of several renewable energy media sites including Solar Thermal Magazine.