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In Russia, Putin Prefers Birds Over Windmills


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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the Global Manufacturing & Industrialisation Summit in Yekaterinburg, Russia on Tuesday, July 9, 2019. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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Save the birds! Save the...moles?

Russian president Vladimir Putin came out against his country's already weak push into renewables when he said wind powered turbines are bad for birds during the Global Summit on Production and Industrialization on Tuesday.

Putin, who lords over some of the biggest natural gas reserves on the planet, likened the bet on alternative energy sources to a blind faith in "simple, spectacular, and ineffective solutions" to fighting climate change. He compared the push for windmills and solar farms to dressing up in cowhide and moving into a cave.

"The environmental footprint of wind and solar energy is incomparably less than that generated by coal or gas," Vladimir Sidorovich, director of the New Energy Center told Vedemosti, a Moscow business daily. “I am not aware of any scientific studies that show wind power plants adversely affect (birds) or moles." Putin spoke about the negative impact of windmills on moles — a mouse-like rodent —back in 2010 during his party's annual gathering.

According to the current literature, somewhere between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines.

Although Putin is a known dog lover, the dog's close domestic companion — the cat — kills around 3.8 billion birds annually. Windmills are far from an apocalyptic disaster for Putin's feathered friends.

Two years ago, Putin made overtures to going green. But going green in Russia isn't about windmills and solar panels. It's more about hydroelectricity, a major source of power for Russia's biggest industries, like aluminum manufacturing plants.

In May 2013 the Putin Administration and his United Russia party, the largest party in the country's congress, passed several acts which provided for investments in renewable energy.

Putin's “Renewable Energy Source Development Measures” aimed to develop and support usage of renewable energy. The idea was for Russia to introduce 6.2 gigawatts of generating capacities from renewable energy sources by next year, which would increase the share of these sources in the energy mix from 0.8% to a low 2.5%.

The Russian renewable energy market had total revenues of $7.8 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% between 2013 and 2017. Market production volume increased just 0.3% between 2013 and 2017, hitting a total of 182.1 terrawatt hours.

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Save the birds! Save the...moles?

Russian president Vladimir Putin came out against his country's already weak push into renewables when he said wind powered turbines are bad for birds during the Global Summit on Production and Industrialization on Tuesday.

Putin, who lords over some of the biggest natural gas reserves on the planet, likened the bet on alternative energy sources to a blind faith in "simple, spectacular, and ineffective solutions" to fighting climate change. He compared the push for windmills and solar farms to dressing up in cowhide and moving into a cave.

"The environmental footprint of wind and solar energy is incomparably less than that generated by coal or gas," Vladimir Sidorovich, director of the New Energy Center told Vedemosti, a Moscow business daily. “I am not aware of any scientific studies that show wind power plants adversely affect (birds) or moles." Putin spoke about the negative impact of windmills on moles — a mouse-like rodent —back in 2010 during his party's annual gathering.

According to the current literature, somewhere between 140,000 and 328,000 birds die each year from collisions with wind turbines.

Although Putin is a known dog lover, the dog's close domestic companion — the cat — kills around 3.8 billion birds annually. Windmills are far from an apocalyptic disaster for Putin's feathered friends.

Two years ago, Putin made overtures to going green. But going green in Russia isn't about windmills and solar panels. It's more about hydroelectricity, a major source of power for Russia's biggest industries, like aluminum manufacturing plants.

In May 2013 the Putin Administration and his United Russia party, the largest party in the country's congress, passed several acts which provided for investments in renewable energy.

Putin's “Renewable Energy Source Development Measures” aimed to develop and support usage of renewable energy. The idea was for Russia to introduce 6.2 gigawatts of generating capacities from renewable energy sources by next year, which would increase the share of these sources in the energy mix from 0.8% to a low 2.5%.

The Russian renewable energy market had total revenues of $7.8 billion in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% between 2013 and 2017. Market production volume increased just 0.3% between 2013 and 2017, hitting a total of 182.1 terrawatt hours.


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