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18 May, 2009 14:10

Waste not, want not, as Russia looks to boost energy efficiency

Economy, ecology and efficiency. With industrial output in Russia falling almost 15% in 4 months, energy efficiency could be one way to boost the economy and become one of the key anticrisis measures.

Russia wastes up to a quarter of the energy it produces. And while the United States is boosting its economy by investing in education and infrastructure, Russia may break the negative trend by saving energy and raising productivity.

State-owned military industrial corporation Rostechnology, is part of the move, according to Head Sergey Chemezov.

“Energy is one of the biggest costs when producing goods. We are interested in promoting efficiency and energy companies are interested in substituting imported technology with Russian technology.”

Associated gas is another source of energy for oil rich Russia, with burning it no longer an option.

However Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko, notes that greater use of associated gas will require massive investment by oil companies.

“Putting associated gas to use is the best example of energy efficiency in the oil sector. By 2012 we want to use 95% of it. This will be possible only with massive investment in industrial infrastructure on the oil fields.”

Monday's agreement to explore energy efficiency is only the start. The lights will be burning long into the night, while ministers and industry players work out how to turn energy saving into economic stimulus.