Russia ranks second in the world for undeveloped hydropower resources, with economic potential reaching 852 TWh, and only 20 per cent of it currently utilised.
With 80 per cent of population and industry located in the central and southern regions of European Russia, most unexploited potential hydropower sites are located far from major load centres. Hydropower accounts for 99 per cent of renewable energy share, with other renewables undeveloped.
The Draft Energy Strategy for the period until 2035 expects further increases in power demand, particularly in regions undergoing high economic development such as the Russian Far East, Siberia, Russian North and the Caspian, creating new opportunities for hydropower development in these areas.
Overall, Russian electricity demand is expected to increase by nearly 2 per cent per year. The government's Strategy for Development of Renewable Energy (published in 2009) considers the accelerated development of renewable energy sources as an important factor of the economic modernisation of the country.
Currently, Russia recognises only hydropower up to 25 MW as a renewable energy source, and according to the Draft Energy Strategy its production will increase for up to 30 per cent by 2035.
The federal hydropower generation company, RusHydro, owns the majority part of the hydropower plants in Russia, with around 80 per cent of the country’s total.
Read our country profile featured in the 2017 Hydropower Status Report.