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23 Sep, 2009 19:27

Renewable energy to get Russian kick start

Russia has thrown its weight behind alternative energy sources including wood pulp and water. The government's preparing a range of incentives to attract foreign investors.

 Russia opens its first world expo of alternative energies. Wood and water already feed a fifth of the global energy mix, but in Moscow… even clean electric transport's a novelty.

Renewables need a state cash kickstart, and in Russia they're about to get one, according to Georgy Leontiev, from the Parliamentary Energy Committee.

“We're finalising a set of green laws, giving concessions and price guarantees to producers. 4% of Russia's energy must be renewable by 2020.”

Most renewables come from wood pulp known as biomass. Russia has more of it than anyone else. Foreign power plants are queuing up, and Hans Jansen, from the UN Economic Commission for Europe, says the UN wants to help.

“Woody biomass is an entirely new product that can be used in firing electricity plants. We can help investors if they contact us directly.”

The federal grid plans to guarantee renewable producers 7 cents per kilowatt hour, for a 20 year term. That justifies producer start-up costs.

But a study of the world leader in state 'green' incentives claims scary results. The creation of every new green job since 2004 cost Spain $800 thousand, and killed twice as many jobs in non-green sectors. In the same period, its CO2 emissions jumped nearly 50%.

Gunter Benik, President of Energieteam AG, a leading 'clean-energy' firm says dirty industries paid for the report.

“Renewable energy is a competitor to the established energy supplier. So every kilowatt hour you can produce, the other supplier can't sell.”

President Obama calls Spain the green model for America. A senior official tells this channel that whereas Big Oil bankrolled George W. Bush's rule, wind turbine and solar panel giant General Electric is behind Obama's green dream.