Russia reportedly ponders blocking foreign originated renewables

October 17 (Renewables Now) – Russia’s Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that foreign companies should not be allowed to lead the design and installation of renewable energy plants in the country, local daily Vedomosti reports.

The proposal was made at a meeting on October 8, according to documents seen by the newspaper, which also noted that two participants in the meeting and a ministry representative had verified the information.

If the proposal is approved, newly-founded Russian renewables design firms would still turn to foreign subcontractors because they would not be able to do the work themselves due to the lack of expertise, Thomas Heidemann, a renewables-focused partner at law firm CMS, told The Moscow Times. This, in turn, would further increase costs.

Still, Igor Bryzgunov, the president of the Russian Association of Wind Power, believes that there is a small chance for this ban to become a law, he told The Moscow Times.

At present, most Russian wind and solar projects are led by foreign parties such as Enel SpA (BIT:ENEL) of Italy and Finland-based Fortum Oyj (HEL:FORTUM). Last month, Enel started building the 201-MW Kolskaya wind farm in the region of Murmansk. Its local unit also won two other wind projects in Russian tenders — the 90-MW Azov and 71-MW Rodnikovsky schemes.

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