Main trends in 2022 in the Russian energy industry

In 2022, the fuel and energy segment faced a number of difficulties. Sanctions pressure forced domestic energy suppliers to diversify rapidly export flows to preserve production volumes at the same level avoiding significant costs. Also after Western companies left the market industry players had to look for alternative to imported equipment and components. According to statement by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak, current indicator of import substitution in the fuel and energy complex is 60%. By 2025, this indicator should increase to 80% – such an order was given by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ilya Naimushin / RIA Novosti

In the electric power industry, the consolidation of territorial grid organizations (TGO) takes place based on large companies. The program is aimed to increase efficiency of network economy operation. Leaving the market by inefficient TGOs will stabilize tariffs for electricity consumers. In turn, high wear and tear of the power grid infrastructure forces to accelerate technological development and renewal of equipment.

In the industry there is a steady positive dynamics in terms of electricity production, as well as its consumption. For the first 5 months of 2022, cumulative output rose 2.3%, reaching 494.3 billion Wh. Thus, the volume of production continues to grow, although not at such accelerated pace, as in 2021. Consumption in the first half of the year increased 2.2%, amounting to 565 billion kWh. Growth of energy consumption was expected by the end of 2022 at the level of 1.5-2%.

In the gas industry, one of the main tasks today is completion of gasification and gasification of the subjects of the Russian Federation. The gasification completion program should be completed before the end of this year, and gasification will continue until 2030.

In the coal industry, the year has definitely become a crisis: due to refusal of European countries to import Russian coal (by the end of 2021 European countries accounted for 36% of total exports). Russian exporters had to reorient supplies to China, but local customers offer significantly less favorable price terms (they want receive discounts in the amount of 60% of the global average coal prices). Therefore, according to the results of the year we expect reduce of coal production compared to volumes of previous years – and in 2023, the trend can only intensify.

The potential of nuclear power, on the contrary, is increasing. Growing interest in nuclear power plants is noticeable on a global scale: many countries that were previously skeptical to nuclear power are interested today in using a peaceful atom.

This allows one of the unconditional leaders of the domestic market – Rosatom – to implement effectively projects for the construction of nuclear power plants (NPPs) in Russia and other countries.

Speaking about public programs and initiatives, 2022 was marked by several important innovations at once. Thus, amendments to Federal Law No. 35-FZ “On the Electric Power Industry” mean effectively transition to a new planning system in the energy industry. From January 1, 2023 control levers for centralized design for the development of power systems are at the disposal of the System Operator. It is entrusted with development of General Layout of Electric Power Facilities and Diagrams and programs for the development of electric power systems in Russia. One of the priorities of the new system will be the desire to increase engagement of regional authorities in the development of the second document in order to determine more accurately demand for electricity of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

Another significant change at the legislative level is the next consolidation program of TGOs. Its basis was the adoption in April of a government decree on tightening the parameters of compliance of TGOs with their status – indicators such as length of networks and transformer power of equipment. Global goal of the initiative is to achieve a higher level of reliability of power grids.

In 2023, the problem of import substitution for equipment and components is most acute in the energy industry. The hardest thing is the dependence on foreign components and their maintenance in the oil and gas segment, in particular with respect to high-power gas turbines. It is important to continue increasing the competencies for the development of service divisions for maintenance of the existing fleet of equipment.

In turn, in the electric power industry, significant support for the development of the industry could be provided by a decision to extend the construction time of power plants, which will allow investors to select new suppliers of equipment and services.

The general trend for all segments of the fuel and energy complex in the coming year will be digital transformation and implementation of Russian technological solutions. Market players will show more interest in technologies such as artificial intelligence in automated control systems, industrial IoT (Internet of Things), neural networks and predictive analytics tools. New IT solutions will increase the effectiveness of technological processes, providing better management capabilities for infrastructure of energy companies.

By Oleg Shevtsov, General Director of Transenercom JSC

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