A Thorough Conversation on RES Held on Radio

The Topical Microphone program was on air at the Belarusian Radio's First Channel on March 26, 2018.  At the meeting initiated by the Removing Barriers to Wind Energy Development in Belarus, an international technical assistance project, the radio hosts Yelena Vakhromeyeva and Yelena Shvayko discussed with the programme guests the status and prospects of development of the renewable energy sector in this country.

The following persons took part in the programme:

  • Sergey Greben, Head of the Energy Efficiency, Ecology and Science Department of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Belarus,
  • Andrey Pilipchuk, Deputy Head of the Air Impact Control, Climate Change and Expert Review Department of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus,
  • Andrey Minenkov, Head of the Research and Technology Policy and External Economic Relations Department of the Energy Efficiency Department of the State Committee for Standardization of the Republic of Belarus.

Andrey Minenkov gave a detailed account of renewable energy development as an essential tool for raising energy security. A series of documents defining the goals and objectives in this sphere were adopted in Belarus. For example, the Presidential Directive No. 3 on Priority Areas of National Energy Security Reinforcement provides for development of a domestic energy source base. It is planned that the RES share in the gross consumption will amount to at least 6% by 2020. The Government is taking steps to incorporate local sources including RES into the national energy mix, of course, with due regard to their economic and ecological aspects. Similar goals and objectives are stipulated in the Energy Security Concept of the Republic of Belarus that provide for a gradual increase of the RES share. The expert cited the best world practices of optimal energy mix development and described the policy of transition from one domineering energy source to 3-5 main energy sources in the energy mix.

Sergey Greben is positive that, by developing renewable energy, each state purports to achieve very definite goals: Some address the issues of energy poverty, making up for a shortage of energy capacity in absence of or due to high prices on conventional fuels; others seek to supply energy to hard-to-reach areas; solve global climate objectives, such as those stipulated in the Paris Climate Agreement. And, as a representative of the Ministry of Energy, he described the current approaches and specific steps taken to diversify fuel and energy resources in the Republic of Belarus (thus, the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant is built and a higher RES use is stimulated in order to reduce the share of natural gas use), he gave an account of drafted proposals to amend the current legal framework governing the sphere of RES use (major changes will be introduced into Edict of the President of the Republic of Belarus No. 209 of 18/05/2015 on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources, and Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 1394 of 17/10/2011 on Approval of Energy Supply Rules).

An important issue is climate neutrality, and Belarus is a party to the Paris Climate Agreement, - reminded Andrey Pilipchuk to the audience, - Fulfilling our obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must completely phase out high carbon fuels by 2030. The expert suggested potential ways of further renewable energy development in Belarus in view of its commitments and the economic aspect; he mentioned that the MNREP is presently implementing an international technical assistance project Removing Barriers to Wind Energy Development that provides for the development of five sites with a capacity of 60 MW. The expert gave an account of the considerable resources allocated for 'green' energy generation throughout the world and that these resources have allowed to reduce the RES facility construction costs considerably in the recent years (in the wind energy sector, the installed capacity construction cost dropped almost by half in three years); he also explained that the contemporary renewable energy has become economically efficient and does not require any special financial incentives.

The programme listeners joined in the interesting conversation via phone and text messages. Many questions were aired: about the possibility of practical application of various RES energy generation types, prospective capacity installation sites, challenges with and sequence of installation of smaller plants to cover household consumption, the equipment service life, etc.

The complete recording of the programme is available at:

Code in external DB source: 912

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