Russian consumption of electricity has seen a modest rise this year, with the country’s ongoing recession having a muted impact on demand for power.
In a statement this week, the System Operator of the United Energy System (SOUES) reported that some 89.2 billion kWh was consumed in October 2016 on the UES, up 1.5% year on year. For Russia as a whole – including isolated power systems such as Sakhalin, Kamchatka and the Crimean Peninsula – demand totalled 91.5 billion kWh, up 1.4% compared with the corresponding period of 2015.
Figures for the first ten months of the year were similar, with national consumption reaching 852.3 billion kWh, up 1.1% year on year. Russia’s economy was hit hard in 2015 by the oil price collapse of the following year and the ensuing devaluation of the Russian ruble.
During the January-October period of 2015, 843.2 billion kWh was consumed in Russia, 0.1% less than a year earlier. This was despite the inclusion of Crimea following its annexation by Russia in March 2014. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak estimated in December of last year that Crimea consumed 6.4 billion kWh of electricity per year. Even so, statistics for UES – which exclude Crimea and other isolated grids – showed a decline of just 0.3% year on year in the first ten months of 2015.
In October, Russian power generation stood at 93.1 billion kWh, up 1.8% year on year.
During the first ten months of the year, some 866.9 billion kWh was produced, up 1.5% compared with the corresponding period of 2015.
Thermal power plants (TPPs) in the UES, which provide the bulk of Russia’s electricity needs, saw a 6% year-on-year decline in production in October. In the ten-month period, however, TPP generation fell by just 0.8% to 489.9 billion kWh.
Production from hydroelectric power plants (HPPs) climbed by 14% year on year in October thanks to higher water levels and the launch of new capacity. Russian dams produced 151 billion kWh in the year up to October 31, up 11.8%.
Finally, nuclear power plant (NPP) generation rose by 19.1% year on year in October owing to the launch of new reactors at the Novovoronezh and Beloyarsk plants. For the ten-month period, however, production from NPPs fell by 1.2% to 158.3 billion kWh.