Russia’s nascent wind industry “was damaged by quarantine, declared mandatory days off without cost compensation and blockade of transport routes,” Igor Bryzgunov, president of the Russian wind industry federation (RAWI), told Recharge.
After a web-meeting with industry experts from local market players such as Rusnano, Vestas, or Windparks FRW, Bryzgunov said as a consequence of Russian measures to fight the coronavirus there may be a delay in the commissioning of wind farms under construction, and possibly equipment supplies.
“In Russia, the wind energy industry has only recently been created and has not yet become stronger, so it clearly responds to crisis phenomena,” he said.
“It is necessary to contact the market regulator with a request to give the opportunity to delay the commissioning of wind farms under construction without imposing fines and sanctions.”
The prospect of an extended “blockade” was not encouraging, RAWI added in a release, stressing that Russia’s logistics sector has suffered from the Covid-19 measures. Also, many non-Russians supervising turbine installation work simply could not come to the facilities as borders are closed.
As the wider European wind sector may face losses, supply disruptions, price increases, and job losses, Russian market players may also have to fire hundreds of people, RAWI feared.
The oil & gas-rich country in 2013 had started to hold annual renewable tenders to reach 5.4GW in capacity by 2024 (3.35GW of which will come from wind power), which is slated to represent 4.5% of its energy generation.
The sector is currently awaiting rules for the post-2024 period, and the government plans to hold the next tender in December 2020, according to Eugeni Nikolaev, director of developer Russian Wind and board member of the World Wind Energy Association (WWEA). RAWI said it couldn’t comment on the supposed plan for the next auctions.
Covid-19 in Russia still seems to spread exponentially, with 27,938 cases reported on Friday morning, and 232 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University data base.
There are doubts about official figures, though, and ill-designed prevention measures and controls have led to crowds waiting in front of metro entrances in hard-hit capital Moscow - mocking the idea of social distancing -, according to Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper.