Russia's position in the global energy system and the factors that will influence the role of energy in Russia's national economic development were topics discussed at a meeting organized by the International Energy Agency last week. The meeting brought together government officials, senior Russian and international industry representatives and other stakeholders to exchange views on Russian energy perspectives.
Fatih Birol, Chief Economist at IEA, says Russia is critical to the global energy balance both as a leading producer and exporter of hydrocarbons and as one of the world's largest energy consumers of natural gas and electricity. Energy policy choices made by the Russian authorities in the coming years will shape not only the prospects for national economic development in Russia but also have major implications for global energy security.
The results of the meeting will help to shape the key findings and messages of the World Energy Outlook 2011 , the IEA’s flagship publication. The World Energy Outlook aims to provide a rigorous analytical framework for energy policy makers and the energy industry, based on robust quantitative analysis. In addition to providing a new set of comprehensive mid- and long-term energy projections by fuel and by sector, the 2011 edition, to be released on Nov. 9, will include an in-depth analysis of the energy outlook for Russia.
Other areas addressed during the meeting included: the prospects for further development of a competitive electricity market; oil and gas reserves and resources; the expansion of transportation infrastructure for domestic markets; and implications of Russian energy developments for global energy supply, security and environmental sustainability.
Also during the meeting, IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said that significant investments and further development and deployment of renewable energy would be needed to curb rising fossil fuel prices.
"The age of cheap energy is over," said Tanaka. "The only question now is, will the extra rent from dearer energy go to an ever smaller circle of producers, or will it be directed back into the domestic economies of the consumers, with the added benefits of increased environmental sustainability?"