A “Renewable” Partnership

by Miles Flisher

Media coverage of renewable energy development in Russia and China has been scarce. Coverage of these countries usually has a more political focus. However, there is talk of these two giants joining forces to increase their renewable energy production. Russia has plans to match the Chinese share of the renewable energy market. This means that Chinese renewable energy companies will be allowed to develop renewable energy projects like solar and hydropower in Russia and sell energy to Chinese citizens. Meanwhile, China has been recognized as a growing power in the field of solar energy. Accordingly, Russians are trying to partner with China to install a large array of solar PV on Chinese soil. Through partnership, China and Russia can become less reliant on importing oil, and therefore more independent.

By 2016, two co-founded solar companies- one Chinese (Amur Sirius) and one Russian (Solar Systems)- will have completed joint construction of a solar plant. There is a guarantee given by the Russian government that there will be a 14 percent return on the investment within 15 years. Both solar companies plan to build separate plants in different regions, and both are expecting at least 100 megawatts yearly.

This partnership between two of the largest countries in the world is the type of breakthrough we need to successfully mitigate climate change. With two giant steps forward, Russia and China have seemingly begun to distance themselves from oil and forge a path toward sustainability.

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