INCREASE IN RENEWABLE ENERGY POTENTIAL IN RUSSIA DUE TO GLOBAL WARMING
This study presents the assessment of changes in potential renewable energy under climate changes over the Russian territory. The data are analyzed concerning the history, present state and prospects of development of renewable energy sources in Russia. We show that at present, excluding large hydropower plants, which supply about 6 % of primary energy consumption in Russia, the share of all the other renewables in national energy supply comprises less than 2 %, and, if present trends of their development continue in the coming decades, will not exceed 4% of total energy consumption in Russia. Based on CMIP5 climate models simulations using original selection methodology, we estimated the changes of major climatic parameters (air temperature, precipitation, wind speed) over Russia for the period up to 2070 under the most likely future climate scenario RCP 4.5. The changes in the applied climatic characteristics that define the renewables potential, such as river runoff, wind potential, net primary production of forests are calculated. Results show that climate change has a positive impact on renewables potential over the most part of the country. It is also projected that the total positive impact (in terms of fossil fuel conservation) by increasing the renewable energy potential due to climatic changes over the Russian territory for the time frame up to 2050, exceeding 10 million tce, fully offsets the negative impact of these changes on other energy sub-sectors.