Russian electric power industry under pressure: Post-COVID scenarios and policy implications
The global electric power industry is under pressure due to economic downturn, decreasing demand, lowering energy prices, and growing non-payments. National electric power industries face similar challenges. These challenges pose threats to many other sectors of economy due to ongoing digital transformation. The paper focuses on the Russian electric power industry future development trajectories, as well as implications for other sectors of economy. With the use of smart energy approach and foresight methods, the authors identified four scenarios until 2030. The Conservative scenario presumes that the current policy in the industry will be maintained. The visionary Smart Energy scenario envisages structural changes in the industry with a focus on clean energy, decentralization, and new cross-sectoral solutions. The Recurrent COVID-19 scenario previews ongoing pandemic outbreaks until 2025. The One More Wild Card scenario foresees the emergence of yet another wild card – an unexpected event that, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, will have a profound effect on the centralized power systems. Policy recommendations are outlined for each scenario. The study outcomes should be revisited periodically in order to incorporate new changes in external environment, factors and trends.