Russia to invest $4.2 billion in solar sector by 2020

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The Russian Ministry of Energy is expecting state and private investment in the development of the country’s solar industry to reach RUB 150 billion (US$ 4.2 billion) by 2020.

Anton Usachev, corporate affairs director at Hevel Solar, one of Russia’s largest producers of solar modules, predicts solar power plants will be established in the southern and southwestern Russian regions of Altai, Bashkortostan, Orenburg, Samara and Omsk in the next six years.

Usachev reckons that by 2020, about 1.5 GW of solar power plants will be built in Russia.

Hevel, a joint venture between state-owned tech giant Rusnano and Russian conglomerate Renova, also has plans to establish PV module manufacturing plants in the country, the largest of which is scheduled for commissioning in June in Chuvashia with an expected capacity of more than 100 MW per year.

Avelar Energy Group – also part of Renova, and France’s Schneider Electric are also looking at launching an inverter production facility in Russia in the next several years.

Until recently, the volume of investments in renewable energy development in Russia had been small — less than $1 billion a year. Of that, nearly 90% had gone to biomass processing projects.

With the advent of photovoltaics in the country, that now looks to be rapidly changing.