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APEC: the price of light

With the development of market relations, the reform of the energy industry and the integration of our country into the world economy, fluctuations in electricity prices become more noticeable

APEC: the price of light

How big is the difference in the cost of electricity for the population in the largest cities of the world in comparison with Russia, what is the reason for the difference in electricity tariffs and how efficiently is the energy supply of megalopolises organized? For example, we decided to look at several cities of APEC member countries.

Electricity prices vary greatly not only from country to country, but also in the regions of each more or less large state, depending on the hour of the day, the connected power of the consumer and many other factors. Their fluctuations during the year also depend on the system of relations in the energy market of different countries: government regulation or competitive relations. By the most general estimate, the highest average electricity price is in the EU countries. For example, in Denmark it reaches $ 0,4 per 1 kWh. In Southeast Asia, electricity is cheaper than in Europe, but more expensive than in countries such as Canada and the United States.

The largest urban power system in Russia, the power system of the city of Moscow, enables residents of the capital to buy electricity at a price of $ 0,08–0,13 per 1 kWh. Electricity needs are met mainly through the generation of thermal power plants and state district power plants located within the city and beyond, as well as through power flows from adjacent power systems. An important role in the Moscow energy system is played by the Zagorskaya pumped storage power plant in the Sergiev Posad region, which “stores” electricity between consumption peaks and generates it during high demand hours.

Due to the fact that the main fuel of thermal power units in Moscow is gas, the price of electricity directly depends on the cost of this type of fuel. Taking into account this factor, as well as the length and complexity of the network infrastructure, the cost of electricity in the capital is higher than the average Russian level. In Irkutsk, which is located in a region with a high proportion of hydrogeneration and has the cheapest electricity in the country, the tariff is $ 0,022 – 0,024 per 1 kWh, and in Chukotka, $ 0,205 per 1 kWh.

If you look at examples of foreign cities, then in a megapolis like New York, in 2012 year the tariff was $ 0,186 for 1 kWh, which is 45% higher than the US average. It remains high, even though the state power system, where this city is located, is highly diversified. Gas and nuclear power plants produce 30% of the total power generation, a significant share of electricity is supplied by the HPP. The energy market of the city and state employs a lot of electric power companies, the largest of which are the Consolidated Edison Company of New York, the National Grid, the New York Power Authority, Iberdrola USA. Peak electricity consumption in New York (including the state), according to the local system operator, reaches 33,5 GW.

A few hundred kilometers north of New York, in Montreal, Canada, located in similar climates to Moscow, the electricity tariff is one of the lowest in the North American continent. For Montreal the price of electricity is $ 0,04-0,075 for 1 kWh. This is due to the fact that the province of Quebec, where the city is located, like Russian Siberia, is rich in water resources. There are 59 hydroelectric power stations in the region with a total capacity of about 35 GW, all owned by the state-owned Hydro-Quebec.

The power system of the world's largest metropolis - Tokyo - and adjacent areas (Greater Tokyo) is serviced by TEPCO. About 60% of its generating capacities are thermal power stations, 17% - hydroelectric units and 22% - nuclear power plants. According to the company, the maximum consumption of electric power in 2010 reached 60 GW. The dependence of Japan on the export of energy resources leads to the fact that the tariffs for electricity there are among the highest in the world. In 2010, the cost of 1 kWh in Tokyo was $ 0,26, but after the nuclear power plants were suspended, the price was steadily growing. Only this year, the tariff for 7-12% is expected to increase, depending on the consumer category.

In general, the energy systems of megacities demonstrate that the cost of energy directly depends on the geographical position of the city in relation to certain types of energy carriers. This factor determines the composition of generating capacity, it is also decisive in the formation of the final price for electricity. And here the Russian capital is in a much more favorable position than most major cities in the world, primarily in Europe and Asia.

At the same time, a feature of the Moscow power system is a high safety margin, built up in the Soviet years. The first serious accident, not related to a natural disaster, occurred in 2005 year at the Chagino substation, where the transformer of the 1958 release burned. This incident indicated a high level of equipment wear and gave impetus to modernization: the construction of new generating facilities, substations, transmission lines.

In other metropolitan areas, total outages also occur infrequently and, mainly, due to adverse weather conditions. Nevertheless, due to the peculiarities of regional energy systems, their scale is very large, especially in the North American continent. So, Americans and Canadians remember the 2003 blackouts of the year. In August, a failure in the power system left 55 a million people without electricity in the northeastern United States and central Canada, including cities such as New York, Cleveland, Detroit, Toronto, and Ottawa. A month later, 4 million consumers were disconnected due to hurricane Isabel.

New York has a history of major power outages since 1965 year, when the city spent almost no light hours 12. "Blackout" 1977-th left the city residents in the dark for a day and was accompanied by looting and looting. In 2007, due to a malfunction for an hour, Manhattan and the Bronx disconnected. Major disconnections related to emergencies occurred in Tokyo. According to TEPCO statistics, in 2010, the total duration of power outages for various consumers reached a record level of 152 minutes.

In 2012, the historical maximum of electric power consumption - 17,5 GW - was recorded in the power system of Moscow and the Moscow region. For 2011 year, the volume of electricity consumption in the capital itself reached 35 billion kWh. How efficiently is this electricity consumed?

If we estimate the volume of electricity consumption in Moscow over the past three years, that is, since the adoption of the law on energy efficiency, we can note a tendency to reduce it. Compared to 2009, it shrank by about 7%. As noted in the Moscow energy conservation program, the energy intensity of Moscow's gross regional product (GRP) is one of the lowest in Russia. In many respects this is explained by the reorientation of the city's economy to trade and services - energy-intensive enterprises either closed or withdrawn from the city. At the same time in Moscow, one of the highest indicators of electricity consumption per dollar GRP compared to other megacities of the world - almost twice as much as in Toronto, three times more than in Tokyo, and almost four times more than in New York.

In order to solve this problem and ensure sustainable development, energy saving programs were adopted or discussed in Moscow and other Russian cities. In the capital, it should bring a saving of 5,5 billion kWh already in 4. It is easy to see that in comparison with other major cities in the world, the energy supply of the Russian capital is relatively inexpensive and reliable. It remains to be hoped that soon it will also become effective.

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