Перспективы развития гидроэнергетики в Российской империи в оценках современников
The interest in using the energy of falling water for the electrification of industry and cities arose among electrical engineers at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries. The successful experience of building hydroelectric power plants in Western Europe and North America reinforced this interest. Russian engineers developed projects for the utilization of energy from the rapids of the Narova, Vuoksa, Volkhov, Dnepr, Rion, and other rivers. Projects of relatively small hydroelectric installations received practical implementation. But large-scale electrification projects for St. Petersburg were not implemented. They became the subject of discussions about expediency of hydropower development. The article analyzes the points of view of the expert community, public authorities and local governments, as well as industrialists and landowners on the possibilities and potential threats of using hydropower for the electrification of industrial enterprises, railways and cities. On the one hand, cheap electric energy was in demand in production and in cities, and on the other hand, the development of the industry was hampered by the lack of legal regulation and the opposition of landowners and hydraulic engineers in the construction of hydroelectric powerplants.