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Russia May Stop Exporting Energy Sources by 2010 — Expert

The low energy effectiveness of the Russian economy may lead to a situation where Russia will be forced to stop all exports of energy sources such as oil and gas as early as 2010, Igor Bashmakov, the executive director of the Russian Center for Energy Efficiency, said on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Bashmakov was speaking at the roundtable discussion Russia’s Energy Strategy: the Problems of Energy Conservation.

“If we don’t learn how to increase energy efficiency, but continue to develop the oil and gas sector, we will stop exporting energy sources because they will be absorbed by the domestic market,” said the expert. He also criticized the Russian government for lack of any state policies in the sphere of energy efficiency. “Without the state’s participation the market cannot fully regulate energy conservation,” said Bashmakov.

The expert’s words were echoed by Oleg Zhilin, vice president of the Russian Gas Society, who believes it is necessary to stimulate conservation and the saving of energy resources. In his opinion, a gradual liberalization of natural gas prices will lead to a considerable decrease in gas consumption in Russia. “Low gas prices stimulate the increase in its consumption and currently natural gas is used ineffectively,” said Zhilin.

He went on to say that the coefficient of efficiency for Russian power generating systems that use natural gas does not exceed 33 percent, while in Europe this figure is above 55 percent. Implementing a number of measures directed at saving energy sources is capable of decreasing consumption in Russia by 40-48 percent, which equals 360-430 million tons of nominal fuel.

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