Russia Waking Up to Energy Efficiency Problems

RUSSIAN authorities are beginning to recognise the unsustainability of an economic model based on natural-resource extraction, and to understand that improvements in energy efficiency would boost long-term economic competitiveness.

According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Russia uses more than seven times as much energy per unit of GDP than the average for West European economies. Energy wastage in public sector buildings and in housing is significant.

In some ways, Russia's predicament is a legacy of the Soviet Union's economy, when energy was cheap, subsidised and plentiful. Although domestic energy prices and tariffs are still subsidised, they have risen considerably; in principle, this should serve as an incentive for companies and consumers to reduce energy consumption.

Wednesday 21st April 2010

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