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Nature is challenging
The harsh climate of Yakutia can be turned into a true ally, and in the cold - to build a business
The unique tourist site "The Kingdom of Permafrost" is one of the main attractions for guests of the city of Yakutsk. A horizontal shaft, carved into a hill on the outskirts of the city, was formerly used to store consumer goods. Today the entrance costs 400 rubles, and the main exhibit is cold: the temperature in the mine is freezing all year round. The Tsarstvo has numerous exhibits for visitors, including ice sculptures and even a perfectly preserved natural mammoth skull with tusks.
“Our facility is interesting for tourists all year round,” employees say. - In summer there is a very bright contrast, when the outside temperature is over +30 ° C, and inside it is –5–7. Guests wear special thermal coats and felt boots. And in winter you can come to us to “warm up”: in the mine the temperature is around -10, while outside it can drop to -50 C ”.
The “kingdom” is not the only example of how, thanks to the enterprise and resourcefulness of people, the unique (albeit extremely harsh) Yakut climate becomes the basis for a successful business. Efficient use of natural potential lies at the heart of many projects, while in the first place - in the field of energy efficiency and import substitution.
How to tame winter
Energy in the North is a costly industry by definition. Therefore, the issue of efficient use of energy resources is not only a social and ecological criterion, but also a fully commercial factor. For example, the real benefit from the introduction of energy-saving technologies can be obtained through an energy service contract. The conditions are such that, if the events are successfully carried out, the merchant can claim a share of the saved funds, which will not only cover his investments, but also make a solid profit. The present system of housing and communal services in the republic is worn out in order, the losses are very high. Therefore, even a set of very small and local transformations can be investment attractive.
Another company, Rusnovtekh, offered the market a very interesting and innovative product: the manufacture of high heat transfer radiators (“pipe in pipe”), as a result, a reduction in the cost of heat supply almost twofold. The company is very actively exploring the opportunities that nature creates: there is a development for the production of synthetic oil through the enrichment and hydrogenation of peat and coal with hydrogen (which is very important for Yakutia: long distances and the high cost of transporting energy carriers encourages the use of local energy); there is a project to create a pyrolysis plant on the basis of a poultry farm in Neryungri, converting litter into biofuel; A unique hot-water generator (hydrodynamic boiler) is being developed, which produces steam and boiling water with minimal costs.
I learned to earn in the cold and the company Teplokomfort. It deals with thermal imaging diagnostics of buildings (inspection for heat loss and development of measures for their elimination), development of energy passports. For three years of activity, an energy audit of 70 social facilities was conducted in several districts; Thermovision survey, instrumental analysis of air parameters of a number of residential and industrial in Yakutsk; a number of three-layer polymeric septic tanks for the improvement of private houses in the village of Appany, Yakutsk, and the village of Khara. The plans are to promote innovative technologies to the market for thermal protection of structures and for engineering support of low-rise rural houses.
Energy efficiency in the vehicle system, by the way, is a separate topic. In winter it is customary in Yakutsk not to jam the machine - otherwise they can not start again in the cold. The fuel consumption is impressive: modern on-board computers show up to 100 liters and higher at 100 km. An energy-efficient project to solve this problem was realized by JSC Yakutskenergo: the company offers to equip cars with special heaters, which can be connected to the network directly in an open parking lot. Now the company's employees who installed the equipment use electricity instead of gasoline to maintain heat in the engine. Savings - several thousand rubles per season.
An alternative to running engine and electric heater is a warm garage (the cost of which, by the way, in Yakutsk is not less than the cost of an apartment). A number of startups are associated with garages. Sakha Parking launches the Narodny Garage project for the construction of four-storey heated parking lots for 29 vehicles each. The entire network will be integrated information center. Through the Internet you can buy a subscription, not tied to a specific place. The co-investor is the Yakutia Venture Company, the city municipality supports land allocation. LLC Sakhateplomekhanika is engaged in the creation of the Warm Yard complex, which provides for a modular air heating system for a mobile open parking lot.
Our best friends
Of course, RES is not a panacea for all ills. The main disadvantages of such energy are high cost, low density of energy flows, dependence on the weather. But, as local practice shows, obtaining energy from renewable sources in the areas of autonomous supply is quite effective and cost-effective. The operation of solar power plants in conjunction with diesel using a special software that automatically distributes the load, makes it possible to recoup the investment over 4 – 6 years. The economic efficiency of the use of renewable energy technologies in isolated systems of the Far East was once again noted at the IV conference "The future of renewable energy in Russia", which Was held 18 November on the initiative of the newspaper Vedomosti in Moscow.
The development of alternative energy is not only a reduction of environmental risks and far-sighted concern for future generations, but also a powerful incentive for the formation of innovative industries. Modernization of the economy based on mining and processing of minerals and fuel and energy complex, is very relevant today for Yakutia. The paradox, but it is the extreme and seemingly unfavorable situation that forces us to seek and find specific innovative solutions. The domestic market is small, so, firstly, there is a wide field for activity and, secondly, it is easier to calculate the risks.
Checked in Yakutia
Great prospects for information technology, because IT - a highly liquid product, the development of which does not require huge investment, and the cost of export is minimal. There are good conditions for the development of new ways of production. In this regard, it is appropriate to mention "green computing", that is, measures to minimize energy costs and negative impact on the environment during the operation of information centers. The number of servers increases in geometric progression, and the critical price component is the energy consumption (the lion's share of which is for cooling). Simple measures - the design of premises taking into account the impact of the external environment and the effective architecture of air conditioners - can save up to 90% of electricity costs. Simply put, to cool the data centers you can use the natural cold. And the heat, allocated during the operation of servers and ventilation equipment, is used for heating of nearby buildings (thermal utilization). In Yakutia in this way it would be possible to solve two problems simultaneously. Turning the features of the climate into benefits allows many developments. The "Checked in Yakutia" brand implies the creation of a test site for testing equipment in extreme arctic conditions.
Much of the described is just an idea, but there is every reason to assume that sooner or later they will be realized. Financial and investment flows are moving towards more efficient businesses based on new knowledge and processes. The combination of information and industrial technologies makes it possible to raise communication, transport, and energy to a new level. Innovation and energy efficiency are a step towards the future. The government of Yakutia among the main goals calls building up to 2020 the high-tech high-tech industries and ensuring communicative freedom and comfortable living of the population. Given the scale of the work already done, the mission to turn the peripheral and subsidized region into a thriving Far Eastern innovation center looks quite feasible.
Published in the journal "Technopark Yakutia". EastRussia is an information partner of the Technopark Yakutia magazine.