Russia Power Report Q2 2016 - New Market Research Report

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Tue Feb 16 2016

We expect very limited growth in Russian electricity generation, capacity and consumption over our forecast period to 2025. Our muted outlook for the market - one of the world's biggest - is based on severe macroeconomic headwinds and prolonged geopolitical uncertainty, which will take a toll on the economy and - by extension - the power sector.

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The broader economic and political backdrop frames our views on the Russian power sector in 2016. The annexation of Crimea and perceived Russian belligerence towards the West has shattered investor confidence and will deter significant foreign investment. Meanwhile, global oil prices of below USD30/bbl in early 2016 have made the government's budget assumptions untenable, which will necessitate further spending cuts. At the same time, tight credit conditions - exacerbated by international sanctions - will drag on economic growth.

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Weak electricity demand will result in overcapacity and feed into lower capacity payments in some of Russia's wholesale electricity pricing zones - weighing on the margins of utilities. Russia awards capacity payments to existing power plants - through competitive auctions to ensure plants remain capable of dispatch during periods of high electricity demand. Capacity auction payments for 2016 in Russia's first pricing zone (spanning European Russia and the Urals) fell 15.3% y-o-y on account of overcapacity amid weak demand.

Providing electricity supply to the annexed Crimea region will remain high on Russia's agenda, as Moscow looks to integrate the peninsula. Russian President Vladimir Putin switched on two power lines in late December 2015, with plans to turn on another two in 2016. In November and December 2015, Crimea was facing serious electricity shortages as a result of bomb blasts - carried out by unidentified assailants - which destroyed two pylons in Ukraine on November 22 2015.

We have largely retained our forecasts for sluggish growth in thermal-fired power generation over our 10-year forecast period on account of generation overcapacity in some of Russia's electricity pricing zones, weak electricity demand and a deteriorating economic environment. We expect gas-fired electricity generation to register muted annual average growth of 1.07% between 2016 and 2025 - and maintain a steady 45% share of the generation mix over the next decade amid limited expansion in renewables and nuclear capacity.

The Russia Power Report features BMI Research's market assessment and independent forecasts covering electricity generation (coal, gas, oil, nuclear, hydro and non-hydro renewables), electricity consumption, trade, transmission and distribution losses and electricity generating capacity.

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