On energy saving and improving energy efficiency

On 18 November, the Federation Council approved the Law ‘On energy saving, the improvement of energy efficiency, and the introduction of alterations into some legislative acts of the Russian Federation". The goal of this Law is to create the legal, economic and organizational foundations for promoting energy saving and improving energy cost-effectiveness.

In particular, the principles of legal regulation are described as follows: efficient and rational use of energy resources; support and promotion of energy saving and improvement of energy cost-effectiveness; the systemic and comprehensive character of the measures designed to ensure energy saving and improve energy efficiency; the use of energy resources with due regard for the existing situation in terms of resources, industry and technologies, ecology and social conditions.

In Russia, while GDP growth in the period of 1999 – 2008 was by 1.94 times, the extraction of primary fuel resources increased by 31.6 %, and the production of electric energy – by 25.8 %. Thus, the fuel intensity of GDP during that period, on the average per annum, was declining by 3.8 %, while its electric energy intensity – by 4.3 %. Despite the positive trends of recent years, the level of consumption of fuel and energy resources per GDP unit in Russia remains considerably higher than that in other countries, including even the ‘northern’ economies with their rather cold climate – like the Scandinavian countries and Canada.

Beside the severe climatic conditions and the territorial factor, significant influence is also exerted by some other factors – such as the structure of the national economy, the increasingly backward energy-intensive industries and the housing and utilities sector, and the low effect of the use of resources and the energy saving measures. Although in the period of 1999 – 2008 the Russian consumers of energy resources had enough time and a certain amount of available resources for technological updating and implementing new energy-saving technologies, there occurred no significant improvements in the overall energy saving level.

O. I. Izriadnova, Head of the Department of Economic Structural Issues