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12 Oct 2016

Belarus to stop importing electricity starting from 2019

MINSK, 12 October (BelTA) – Starting form 2019 Belarus will give stop importing electricity, Belarus’ Energy Minister Vladimir Potupchik said when speaking at a plenary meeting of the Belarusian Energy and Ecology Forum, BelTA has learned.

“Starting from 2019 there will be no imported electricity in the electricity consumption mix of the country. We will reduce it to zero. Until recently, we imported up to 7 billion kWh, which accounted for a significant share in the electricity consumption mix of the country,” Vladimir Potupchik said.

In recent years, Belarus has cut on electricity import almost three times: from 7.9 billion kWh in 2012 down to 2.8 billion kWh in 2015.

According to the Minister, thanks to the ongoing modernization of the Belarusian energy system the country saves about $24 million every year, which is equivalent to 150 million cubic meters of imported natural gas. As a result of the implementation of energy efficiency projects, Belarus also reduced the emissions of sulfur dioxide by almost twice and nitrogen oxide by almost 1.5 times.

Vladimir Potupchik also drew attention to the fact that Belarus is increasing the use of renewable energy. In 2011, the aggregate capacity of wind plants stood at 1.6MW. In 2016 there were 68 such plants with a total capacity of 59.3MW. In 2015 these installations supplied 38.4 million kWh of electricity to the national grid system, which helped substitute 8.7 million cubic meters of natural gas and reduce emissions of pollutants by 19,200 tonnes.

One of the country's largest wind power plants was launched in Novogrudok District, Grodno Oblast this year. It will help save 5 million cubic meters of gas and reduce emissions by an additional 10.900 tonnes per year.

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