On average, energy production within Russia reaches 7,534 TWh (tera-watt hours) annually with an estimated increase of 9 to 11 percent every 5 to 6 years as a direct result of the country’s natural population growth (Energy Consumption and Production QUADS, 2012). The country contains 32 percent of currently identifiable natural gas reserves, has access to 12 percent of the global supply of oil, and contains 10 percent of currently explored coal reserves (Energy Consumption and Production QUADS, 2012). As a result, 47.7 percent of Russia’s energy needs are provided by gas, 19 percent through coal, 15.7 percent through nuclear power generation, and 16.1 percent through hydroelectric power. These percentages are indicative of the main sources of economically feasible power generation within the country.
Before proceeding, it should be noted that the term “economically feasible” refers to the capacity of a particular type of energy production wherein the means by which energy is produced and sold does not exceed the cost of resources needed to maintain it. For example, while burning paper would result in the generation of heat energy, the cost of the paper itself compounded over the millions of tons needed to keep an average fossil fuel plant in operation would create an exorbitant cost that current price levels of electricity per kilowatt-hour simply cannot afford. It is based on this that economically feasible fuels and methods of energy production usually come in the form of fossil fuel power plants, hydroelectric dams, and nuclear power gave the fact that they are capable of utilizing a cheap fuel source as the means of creating electrical energy (Energy Consumption and Production Standard Units, 2012). Alternative energy sources as they are at the present have been labeled as being far from economically feasible given the large start-up costs associated with their use as well as the fact that the means by which they produce electricity is not as reliable as the three previously mentioned methods of energy production.
It is due to this level of economic infeasibility that studies such as those by Fedorenko & Simchera (2005) indicate that while Russia has abundant sources of potential alternative energy (i.e. wind power, solar power, etc.) there has been little in the way of significant developments in creating the necessary infrastructures to take advantage of the country’s alternative energy resources. Fedorenko & Simchera (2005) goes on further to state that fossil fuels are the dominant means of energy within the country simply because their cost is within an ideal range of economic feasibility which makes investing in alternative energy sources simply too expensive at this point in time given the current abundance of fossil fuel resources (i.e. the country’s oil, gas and coal reserves) (Fedorenko & Simchera, 2005).
Current estimates of the electrical use per household within Russia shows that on average a home/apartment in one of its major cities (such as Moscow) spends roughly $1,500 per year on energy consumption with an average daily use of 17 to 31 KWHs (Kilowatt-hours) per day or 8,250 kWh per year with an estimated 53 TWh per million people depending on their general location (i.e. energy consumption is higher in urban populations than it is in rural regions) (Energy Consumption and Production QUADS, 2011). This leads to the production of 8 tons of carbon pollution per household created each year due to the fact that 90% of Russian’s energy needs are met through the use of fossil fuel-burning power plants (Energy Consumption and Production QUADS, 2011). With a population density of 143,500,000, this represents literally billions of tons of carbon pollution released into the atmosphere on a yearly basis by local residents.
The reason this is particularly important to mention is due to the fact that Moscow is just one out of several cities within Russia that rely on fossil fuel power plants as their main source of energy. Many of these power plants are located near rivers, lakes, and estuaries due to the necessity of large bodies of water for their steam cycles and cooling processes. What happens as a direct result of such activities is an increase in the number of particulates in the water consisting of either iron, copper, magnesium, sodium, sulfates, nitrates, and a variety of other inorganic materials that can be found dissolved in water as a direct result of industrial processes. Particulates in Russia’s water supply have been correlated by the “Issues and Prospects (2012)” study to increased instances of cancer among members of the populace that source their water from these bodies of water despite assurances from the government that the water is perfectly safe to drink. Adding to such concerns are the increased concentrations of carbon dioxide from power plants which have been linked to higher rates of lung cancer and other related maladies due to people breathing in polluted air.
It is based on this apparent issue that this research proposal will investigate the feasibility of using wind energy within Russian from a strategic management perspective. The socio-economic aspects of this shall also be examined by taking into account a number of case studies in Russia as well as examples from other states that have attempted to utilize alternative methods of energy production.
The aim of the study is to understand how each of these socio-economic assessments of alternative energy production is managed and implemented using a number of different strategies. Document analysis shall be the primary research approach utilized in order to examine both academic literature and case studies to further gain an understanding of the issue. After the review has been undertaken and techniques identified, other pertinent methods of examination of each of these methods shall be completed. Afterward, a number of recommendations will be made in an attempt to demonstrate the best techniques for use in the feasibility of the recommended approach.
It is anticipated that at the end of the investigation, the feasibility of utilizing wind energy from a strategic management perspective within Russia will be revealed which will contribute towards the greater body of literature regarding the use of alternative energy sources within Russia.
Background of the Study
What can be considered a successful society can be interpreted in a myriad number of ways which can constitute: the level of technology present within a society, the degree of cultural achievement, the military predominance the state wields in the region, and lastly being a global economic powerhouse (Russia Energy Market Overview, 2009). Yet, even if such descriptions define what a successful society should look like, historical evidence has shown that such interpretations are not indicators of an overly successful society. The former Soviet Union had great military strength in their region of the world yet it collapsed as a result of economic mismanagement and the use of an archaic system that had no place in a thriving global business environment (Russia Energy Market Overview, 2009). Countries such as Thailand and Cambodia have numerous cultural achievements brought about by their rich history yet are still considered third-world countries.
The level of technological sophistication in India brought about by the outsourcing industry may have raised the overall level of the country in terms of technological achievement yet it is still considered a poor country due to its low per capita income that each citizen receives compared to the needs that are actually met (Bellekom et al., 2012). In this current day and age, what is defined as a successful country is determined by the system by which the modern-day economy revolves around wherein success is determined by the level of economic progress that a country has achieved and, as such, the level in which it affects the global market place through its daily actions. Within the context of Russia’s high level of energy generation which makes it the second-largest producer of energy in the world, the fact remains that its success is dependent on a non-renewable energy source (i.e. fossil fuels) (Ellis et al., 2009). Thus, Russian cannot be truly called a success given that its high energy needs are at risk in the immediate future since in 50 years its supply of fossil fuel resources will run out resulting in a catastrophic energy crisis unless alternatives to its future dilemma are sought at the present while supplies are still plentiful.
What you have to understand is that Russia is one of Europe’s largest suppliers of oil and natural gas; especially to Eastern European countries and most importantly the E.U. (European Union). Using the abundance of natural resources available to it, namely oil and gas, as well as the use of state-owned oil and gas companies which export their products to a vast majority of dependant European countries, Russia has sought to exploit its energy riches to achieve economic and political goals (Santos-Martin et al., 2012). Vladimir Putin has been quoted as referring to hydrocarbons, which is one of Russia’s main resources, as the key to the nation’s economic development in the near future.
At the present, nearly 30% of Russia’s entire fossil fuel production goes immediately towards supplying its various power plants in order to meet the energy requirements of its populace. The inherent problem with this lies with the fact that the fossil fuel reserves in Russia are a finite resource and eventually, with the increased demand for energy, this resource will be consumed that much faster. Based on the examination of Gelb (2006), it was stated that while Russia acknowledges that it has finite supplies, the fact remains that current supplies will continue to be available for the next 25 to 50 years based on the rate of consumption. As such, no solid plans have as yet materialized to develop significant alternative energy infrastructures within the country (Gelb, 2006).
The reasoning behind this is due to the high costs associated with developing alternative energy systems with little in the way of significant returns on investment. In order to prove this point within the context of wind-generated power, the example of Egypt and its attempt at utilizing renewable energy resources should prove to be an adequate example. In its attempt to expand into the renewable energy industry to supply its energy-starved populace with more electricity, Egypt introduced both solar and wind energy into its electricity-producing infrastructure. The result was the wind turbine installations in the Red Sea producing only 230 MW while the solar energy array only produced 30 MW. When taking into consideration the fact that Egypt requires 36GW within the next 10 years in order to keep up with demand, this indicates that its renewable energy resources currently do not have the needed capacity to keep up with an ever-increasing demand for electricity. The same can be said for Russia which experiences a 9 to 10 percent needed increase in its 7,534 TWh energy production given the demands placed on the country by both its local population and its various client countries.
As the population of Russia continues to swell so too does its use of utilities. Utilities such as electricity continue to grow along with the increase in its population resulting in the need for greater and more extensive means of energy production as the years go by. In fact, various studies have shown that among all others that export oil, only the U.A.E and Saudi Arabia have a greater per-person consumption of electricity on the planet than Russia. The inherent problem with such a situation is that the continued growth of the country does not match the energy production capabilities of the various fossil fuel power plants with expansions needed on their energy capacity every 5 years. Not only that, oil within the context of the global economy is a finite resource that can and will disappear within a few decades at the current rate of consumption.
In fact, it has been stated that “the main reason behind the recent growth of nuclear power plants around the world is due to the possibility of impending exhaustion and the possible disruption of the supply of petroleum”. As such what is required in the case of Russia is to invest in an alternative form of energy so as to ensure that the region does not suffer from either a future energy crisis due to a lack of fuel or a polluted atmosphere as a result of unmitigated emissions from various fossil fuel power plants (Delucchi & Jacobson, 2013). What is necessary is the development of an alternative energy infrastructure that, from a strategic management perspective, can serve the needs of Russia in a manner that is economically feasible. It is based on this that this paper will examine the use of wind energy within the context of Russia’s energy production infrastructure and will examine other possible alternatives as well. Through an examination of various cases involving energy production, it is expected that this paper will be able to determine whether wind energy can be feasible enough to be utilized within Russia as a potential replacement for its current energy resources which consist primarily of fossil fuels and nuclear energy.
Introduction to the study
This study shall be undertaken by critically evaluating how the assessments are currently implemented into practice. Their effectiveness shall then be assessed by comparing them to practices adopted by other countries (see as an example: Bell, Gray & Haggett 2005; Bergmann, Hanley & Wright 2006; van der Horst & Toke 2010). This could help in the identification of some opportunities that could be utilized in Russia to help improve the undertaking of the feasibility studies. Russia has emerged as one of the countries with promising establishments of wind power as reported by the Russian Association of Wind Power Industry (RAVI 2013). Therefore, it is vital to carry out a social-economic environmental impact assessment in order to gain the planning consent necessary for wind farm development.
In Russia, feasibility studies have been conducted to establish the viability of wind turbine projects (as an example see: POWER 2008; BASREC 2012). For instance, an economic feasibility study has been carried out to determine the local meteorological potential necessary for wind power/energy production (Pedden 2005). To date, a variety of practices have been adopted to undertake and implement this (Devine‐Wright 2005; van der Horst 2007). This research seeks to ascertain if these practices could be improved by establishing how the assessments have been undertaken in other countries such as the UK, Denmark, the United States, and Australia, among others.
Research aims and objectives
In conjunction with the problem statement above, the following aims have been formulated:
- To use the available and relevant data to investigate how socio-economic assessments are managed by using various management strategies (during the feasibility investigation phase of wind farm developments).
- To use available and relevant data, to investigate how socio-economic assessments are implemented by using various management strategies (during the feasibility investigation phase of wind farm developments).
- To use the findings from the above two aims and make recommendations for how practices may be improved in Russia.
Additionally, the following objectives have been developed:
- To evaluate how socio-economic assessments are strategically managed and implemented (during the feasibility phases of wind farm projects in Russia and other countries).
- To evaluate if these assessments can be improved in Russia.
Scope and Limitations
The independent variable in this study consists of the academic literature that will be gathered by the researcher for the literature review while the dependent variable will consist of information gathered from the internet via websites that examine the concept of wind energy in Russia. It is anticipated that through a correlation between the literature on the current feasibility of wind energy and its potential use in Russia, the researcher will in effect be able to make a logical connection regarding the potential effectiveness of its use as a primary or secondary energy source for various regions within Russia…
Overall, the data collection process is expected to be uneventful; however, some challenges may be present in collecting data involving current energy programs and current practices of Russia that are to be utilized in this study. Such issues though can be resolved through access to online academic resources such as EBSCO hub, Academic Search Premier, Master FILE Premier, Newspaper Source Plus, and AP News Monitor Collection. Popular magazines, as well as other such online databases that should have the necessary information, will also be utilized as a source of information. Relevant books were also included in the review. Furthermore, websites such as The Economist.com and Discovery.com have several online articles that contain snippets of information that should be able to help steer the study towards acquiring the necessary sources needed to justify asserted arguments. It must be noted that the time constraint for this particular study limits the ability of the research to perform a more in-depth examination via interviews with the needed experts in energy infrastructure within Russia and, as such, a literature-based analysis was chosen as the best method to proceed in conducting the examination.
The main weakness of this study is in its reliance on academic literature as the primary source of data in order to determine the general feasibility of the use of wind energy within Russia from a strategic management perspective. There is always the possibility that the information presented may not a line with the opinions of subject matter experts within Russia. While this can be resolved by backing up the data with an extensive examination of relevant literature, the lack of structured interviews with experts in the country that is to be examined still presents itself as a problem that cannot be easily remedied.
Introduction to Methodology
This section aims to provide information on how the study will be conducted and the rationale behind employing the discussed methodologies and techniques towards augmenting the study’s validity. In addition to describing the research design, the theoretical framework, and the population and sample size that will be used in this study, this section will also elaborate on instrumentation and data collection techniques, validity and reliability, data analysis, and pertinent ethical issues that may emerge in the course of undertaking this study. Due to the nature of this study, the research shall be based on an extensive review of the literature and case studies. Once all of these have been examined and collated a number of recommendations shall be made. Data will be collected from existing research materials and eventually synthesized and evaluated according to the research questions, or the guiding concept of the thesis.
Utilizing a Qualitative Research Methodology
What is Qualitative Research?
Merriam (2009) in her book “Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation” explains that qualitative research is a type of exploratory research in that it tries to examine and explain particular aspects of a scenario through an in-depth method of examination (Merriam 2009, 3-21). While it is applicable to numerous disciplines, it is normally applied to instances that attempt to explain human behavior and the varying factors that influence and govern such behaviors into forming what they are at the present (Merriam 2009, 3-21). Thus, it can be stated that qualitative research focuses more on exploring various aspects of an issue, developing an understanding of phenomena within an appropriate context, and answering questions inherent to the issue being examined. This makes it an ideal research method to be utilized in this study since it would enable the researcher to examine the variables that would impact the use of wind energy within Russia. Moreover, a qualitative research approach is used with the aim of understanding a particular phenomenon so as to discover the innermost meaning (Creswell 2003). In this case, the hope is to understand the development of wind farms in Russia from a strategic management perspective.
Despite the effectiveness of an interview-based analysis via subject matter experts, this study chooses to rely almost entirely on document analysis due to current time constraints. As explained by Merriam (2009), a research study that relies almost entirely on academic literature without other methods of external data collection runs the risk of being confined primarily to the results exhibited by the research studies utilized (Merriam 2009, pp 135-165). This can result in a study that is severely constrained in terms of the number of factors that it is capable of encompassing especially in situations where the research subject that is being examined is focused on a narrowly specific topic (Merriam 2009, pp 135-165). On the other hand, relying purely on academic literature in order to investigate a particular study does have its advantages since it reduces the amount of time need during the initial stages of preliminary research and enables the research to more effectively justify the results presented by indicating that they had already been verified by previous researchers (Merriam 2009, pp 135-165). It is based on this that this research project will primarily focus on document-based research as the method of examination for this study.
The primary limitation of this study is that it relies on document-based research as the source for all the information and views that will be presented. The use of other methods of research and analysis such as a survey, narrative analysis, or other forms of research will be eschewed in favor of focusing entirely on the collected data and results of other researchers. Merriam (2009) elaborates on document-based research by stating that document-based methods of analysis primarily concern themselves with an examination of various academic texts in order to draw conclusions on a particular topic (Merriam 2009, pp 139-165). While each method of analysis does have its own level of strengths such as in the case of a narrative analysis that enables a researcher to utilize learning and adaptation approaches in order to examine various types of data, it should be noted that document analysis is far easier to do and has a higher degree of academic veracity as compared to narrative-based research which can often result in mistaken conclusions (Merriam 2009, pp 32-165).
As this research is based on secondary sources, the available data may limit the findings from this and, as already stated that the study is based on the current situation in Russia, its findings may only be valid for a limited time. Another limitation associated with the use of secondary sources is the likelihood of the sources not meeting the researcher’s specific needs as in most cases, the information and data from secondary sources are not presented in a way that meets the researcher’s needs. In this case, the researcher is required to classify the data which may be a cumbersome process. Lastly, compared to primary sources, secondary sources are not self-governed and controlled by the researcher. This compels the researcher to closely scrutinize the data source and its content. To address this limitation, the researcher will undertake sufficient steps to evaluate the validity and reliability of the provided information critically.
The advantage of utilizing ground theory over other theoretical concepts is that it does not start with an immediate assumption regarding a particular case. Instead, it focuses on the development of an assumption while the research is ongoing through the use of the following framework for examination:
- What is going on?
- What is the main problem within the company for those involved?
- What is currently being done to resolve this issue?
- Are there possible alternatives to the current solution?
This particular technique is especially useful in instances where researchers need to follow a specific framework for examining a problem (as seen in the framework above) and, as such, is useful in helping to conceptualize the data in such a way that logical conclusions can be developed from the research data.
By utilizing the framework of grounded theory to perform an examination of the potential use of wind energy in Russia and the data from the literature review, the researcher will be able to adequately examine the processes utilized within the current energy infrastructure of Russia that is currently being utilized and whether such processes are effective based on the data collected. It is assumed by the researcher that the current reliance of Russia on fossil fuel resources is unsustainable given finite supply levels and the need for alternative energy sources in the future. What you have to understand is that in qualitative research the concepts or themes are derived from the data. The grounded theory provides systematic, yet flexible guidelines to collect and analyze data. That data then forms the foundation of the theory while the analysis of the data provides the concepts resulting in an effective examination and presentation of the results of the study. This makes it a valuable tool in examining a myriad of possible topics such as the one being examined in this study.
The research approach chosen for this study is qualitative in nature as it will be based on a literature review (Saunders 2003). This will allow the researcher to explore the problem outlined above and check if any improvements can be made. The choice of a qualitative research approach is due to the fact that it is more concerned with exploring issues, phenomena understanding, and answering research questions
The proposed research study is secondary research. As such, data collection shall be accomplished by searching websites like Google to locate electronic journals, case studies, and relevant books (Cronin, Ryan & Coughlan 2008). Once a number of relevant sources have been identified, these shall be used to collect information to investigate the research problem. Already existing information related to wind farms in Russia and other parts will be used. The relevant case studies will then be supported by information generated from electronic journals, textbooks, and other sources.
Owing to the nature of the research study, secondary sources have been deemed viable because they are easy to access; can be acquired at a low cost, the results are already interpreted, and assist in answering the identified research questions (Creswell 2003). They are less costly in the sense that no fieldwork is required which makes secondary data collection less tiresome and less cumbersome.
All analyses shall be based on the literature identified during the data collection phase of this study. Since no quantification or generalisability is required, the data collected will be analyzed qualitatively. This means that the acquired data and information will be assessed to investigate how socio-economic assessments are implemented by using various management strategies.
Access to this literature shall be established through searching library resources, electronic journals, and websites. An attempt shall be made to identify, evaluate, and synthesize sites relevant to the topic under study. An extensive search will be carried out where systematic criteria will be used to select the most relevant sources. For example, selection aspects such as date of and the relevance to the study topic will be ability and validity.
Reliability and Validity
Handley (2005) noted reliability in any research process implies that the same set of data would have been collected each time in repeat examinations of the same variable or phenomenon, otherwise referred to as consistency of measurement. To realize the reliability of the study findings, the researcher will certify that items incorporated in the document review schedule will only capture data that are of interest to the broader objectives of the study. The range of measurement of the sets of the document review schedules will also be adjusted upwards to enhance the internal consistency of the study findings. In addition, the researcher will utilize multiple indicators to ensure the collection of objective unabridged data.
Handley (2005) determined validity is a measurement that is used to describe a measure or instrument that correctly reflects the variable or phenomena it is intended to evaluate, thus reinforcing the conclusions, assumptions, and propositions made from the analysis of data. Internal validity, which denotes the soundness of a study or investigation, will be achieved through the establishment of a framework for the application of effective literature sampling techniques and employing a validated and reliable document review schedule for the purpose of data collection. This ensures that the study findings can be generalized to other settings (i.e. used as the basis for the examination of the feasibility of wind power within the context of its use in other countries.
In addition, Golafshani (2003, p.599) highlights that validity is applied to determine “whether the research truly measures that which it was intended to measure or how truthful the research results are”. Based on these definitions, the reliability and validity of this research shall be ensured by only using sources of information, which are deemed to be suitable for this study. The rigor of the study must be evident when the researcher presents the findings. A rigorous study is one that is designed, conducted, and analyzed properly (Shank, 2006). The researcher will demonstrate the study’s rigorous design by reporting in the method section that the study was developed with the expert guidance of University faculty, reviewed and approved by the IRB and that the study was conducted by closely following that approved design. According to Fereday and Muir-Cochrane (2006), rigor may be demonstrated through the process of thematic analysis. A comprehensive process of data coding and identification of themes must be used. This researcher will select an appropriate template approach from the literature to assist with data analysis.
Possible ethical considerations that may arise through this study consist of the following:
- The potential for unintentional plagiarism through the verbatim lifting of information, arguments, and points of view from the researched source material.
- The use of unsubstantiated information taken from unverifiable or non-academic resources (ex: internet articles).
- The use of a biased viewpoint on issues may inadvertently result in an alteration of the questionnaire results.
- Presentation of data without sufficient corroborating evidence or a lack of citation.
- Falsifying the results of the research for the benefit of the initial assumptions of the study.
- Using views and ideas without giving due credit to the original source.
According to Saunders et al. (2000), “Ethics refers to the appropriateness of your behavior in relation to the rights of those who become the subject of your work, or are affected by it” (p. 130). In addition to seeking approval from the doctoral thesis board, a letter of consent will be sent to the head of the program to request individual indulgence and approval in conducting the study. Mailings will be sent to the individual police precincts, agencies, businesses, etc. explaining the main objective of the study and requesting their consent for participation. Further communication will proceed between those who agree to take part in the survey and the researcher via email to ensure that all individuals understand the requirements for the study. The researcher will also take time to elaborate on the rights of participants during the study process, including the right to informed consent and the right to confidentiality
Introduction to literature
This section reviews and evaluates literature and theories on the use of wind power as a means of energy production and the various practices involved in the strategic management assessment of energy infrastructures within different countries. When looking at the current rate of consumption versus actual oil reserves left it is obvious that this current method of utility production within Russia is unsustainable in the long run and that other methods need to be devised in order to resolve it. Based on this fact, this paper assumes that the best means of supplying Russia with enough electricity in the future is to utilize alternative power sources such as nuclear, solar, or wind power sources. The only inherent problem though with utilizing renewable energy resources such as solar and wind power is that they are not as reliable compared to fossil fuel burning plants.
Solar energy is dependent on the sun, while Russia has more than enough free space to establish a solar array the fact remains that energy production cannot be done when there is no sunlight, as such solar power has a distinct limitation in that it cannot provide electricity 24 hours a day. On the other hand, wind power is not on a set schedule compared to solar power and can run at any time of day or night however wind power as a source of electricity is subject to a certain degree of unpredictability since there is no definite assurance that air currents will blow in a certain spot on a constant basis. Taking this into consideration what will be examined in this section is the strategic management assessment process utilized to examine the viability of wind power generation within countries, whether wind power would match the needs of Russia’s population, and what possible alternatives could be pursued.
It is anticipated that by the end of this section, the use of strategic management processes in examining the economic viability of wind power generation within Russia can be developed in order to help assess Russia’s capacity to utilize wind generation as a primary or secondary power source. The following study shall achieve the above by examining the literature from Europe or the United States of America (see as an example: Gray 2012; Bergmann, Hanley & Wright 2006). The literature will be compared to the Russian case studies (as an example see: POWER 2008; BASREC 2012). This will enable the researcher to understand the implementation of similar projects in a number of countries and how practices may be improved in Russia.
Wind Energy Development
To date, studies have been undertaken to assess the development of wind farms (see as an example: Bell, Gray & Haggett 2005; Bergmann, Hanley & Wright 2006; van der Horst & Toke 2010). The majority of these have focused on developments in Europe or the United States of America. There are cases concentrating on countries in South Asia (Yue, Liu & Liou 2001). There are a few case studies that are pertinent to these types of projects in Russia (as an example see: Martinot 1999; POWER 2008; BASREC 2012). Mainly, these case studies show that a variety of techniques are used to ascertain if these developments are feasible. To ensure that this is the case, a number of assessments are undertaken (see as an example: Bell, Gray & Haggett 2005). This helps to ensure that each aspect of the development and its impacts are fully considered. One important assessment seeks to evaluate the socio-economic impacts of wind farm developments (Greene & Geisken 2013; UNEP 2004). It is the management and implementation of these in Russia, which this study seeks to explore.
A social-economic assessment of wind power was undertaken in Denmark to determine the lessons learned. The study, carried out by Munksgaard and Larsen (1998), used cost-effectiveness paradigms to determine the social and economic benefits gained. The social-economic examination assessed the production cost from 3 parameters: (1) internal production cost of electricity, (2) the external production costs, and (3), the macroeconomic effects on the balance of payments on employment. The findings showed that when internal costs are factored in, the cost of producing wind power is higher compared to the production of electricity from a central plant (Munksgaard & Larsen 1998). Therefore, the current research could assess the feasibility of wind energy by considering the cost-effectiveness paradigms where external costs and micro-economic effects on such issues as employment, the balance of payments, and fiscal policy comparison are assessed. The use of economic feasibility is reflected in a study carried out on behalf of the Russian Federation on perspectives of offshore wind energy development (Eksponente 2008). In this study, different variables such as costs and physical, technical, economic, environmental parameters are considered.
Leningrad Oblast, Russia has numerous resources that could be tapped to produce wind power. Nonetheless, the area has the least wind farms/projects as indicated by a report produced by USTDA (2003). The report shows that a feasibility study was carried at six potential wind power sites in Leningrad Oblast. However, only three met the feasibility study criteria based on wind characteristics, environmental considerations, land availability, local governmental support, presence of potential customers, presence of strong, and growing power demand in the region (USTDA 2003). BASREC (2012) carried a feasibility study which was geared towards determining the conditions necessary for the deployment of wind power energy in the Baltic Sea Region. The main agenda of the feasibility was to evaluate the existing regulatory framework for wind energy applied while deploying wind power projects in the region. The findings showed that there are variations when it comes to the development of wind power with countries such as Russia being labeled as “sleeping giant” while Denmark is regarded as a “spiritual home” as noted by BASREC (2012, p. 99).
A report by SEAI (2010) provides a wide range of socio-economic factors that are put into consideration when commissioning the development of wind power. It is noted that these factors should be considered while carrying out an environmental impact assessment (EIA). The factors are presented in the table below as provided by SEAI (2010).
Table 1: Socio-Economic Factors.
|Direct economic ||Indirect/wider economic ||Demographic |
|Housing ||Socio-cultural ||Other local services |
In a separate feasibility study, EWEA (2010) notes that factors that have an effect on public perception with regard to the development of wind power should be put into consideration. These factors have been divided into three dimensions which are: (1) physical, technical, and environmental attributes; (2) psycho-social, and (3) social and institutional factors. For example, a study carried out by Flowers and Kelly (2005) showed that the development of wind power has an effect on the environment such as high bird mortality level.
Furthermore, community acceptance studies have shown that people are concerned about the hazards associated with high turbine blades (Jobert, Laborgne & Mimler 2007; Kart, 2009; Tyler 2010). Bergmann, Hanley, and Wright (2006) carried out a study on the development of wind power in Scotland and established that the attributes of renewable energy investment had been valued before a project was started. This has been supported by Wolsink (2007) who notes that values have to be considered to ensure local involvement in wind power projects. Bell, Gray, and Haggett (2005) touch upon the ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) syndrome which has ensured that wind power is not implemented in some regions of the UK. Torres Sibille et al. (2009) focus on the objective aesthetic impact of this type of sustainable energy.
Practices Involving Strategic Management Assessment of Wind Power
Examination based on Energy Density
First and foremost, it is important to create an exact definition of what wind power is within the context of the types of energy infrastructures currently in use. Wind power is categorized as a type of “eco-energy” which is defined as a secondary source of energy that is converted into electrical energy via a variety of different processes (i.e. heat, mechanical energy, steam, etc.) (Daut et al., 2011). Basically, eco-energy functions via utilizing energy from natural environmental processes (i.e. the wind, sunlight, waves, etc.) and then subsequently converting it into mechanical energy which is then turned into electrical energy. However, one of the main problems with eco-energy is that unlike fossil fuels and coal, it cannot be stored in a dormant state (Daut et al., 2011).
While it is a replenishable and almost limitless source of energy for mechanical conversion processes, the fact remains that the lack of its capacity to be stored in an inert state means that the only feasible means for it be stored is through energy conversion into electrical energy (Earl et al., 2013). The problem though is that the conversion process renders the resulting energy into a low-density type of energy which is not as effective as high-density types of energy resources such as petroleum and nuclear fuel (Earl et al., 2013). One way of illustrating this example is by examining the different energy densities of petroleum and one of the most popular means of electrical energy storage, namely, the lithium-ion battery. One liter of petroleum has the same level of energy as 50 liters within a lithium battery of a proportionate size. This shows how, in terms of storage, fossil fuel resources are simply a far better means of energy production given their inherently high energy density.
With Rachier (2012) which examined the context of utilizing wind power within Australia and its overall viability, it was shown that energy density-based methods of examination were utilized as means of determining the future processes involving in Australia’s energy infrastructure growth and whether alternative sources of energy would play a role in becoming a potential primary energy source of the state (Al-Yahyai, 2012). The study revealed that 90% of Australia’s power supply originates from fossil fuel resources despite the presence of viable areas along Australia’s gold coast region that could be used for wind energy. The lack of sufficient development towards wind power and other types of alternative energy was shown to be due to the overall energy density of stored electrical power and how it was not as viable as compared to the energy density found in coal or petroleum. Studies such as those by Carta & Mentado (2007) explain that the main issue with renewable energy resources such as wind power is that they are as of yet an unreliable form of main energy generation for a country.
There are three reasons behind this: renewable energy resources from a commercial energy standpoint are as of yet an unproven method of reliable energy production, the means by which renewable energy is produced requires a high initial start-up cost, and finally, in terms of overall reliability only geothermal plants or hydroelectric dams are the only proven reliable sources of renewable energy both of which cannot be used in several global regions due to the overall lack of the necessary areas to actually create them (Carta & Mentado, 2007). From a strategic management perspective, when comparing fossil fuel-burning power plants to either solar-powered arrays or wind turbines, most energy producers would choose to construct a fossil fuel burning plant rather than a renewable energy production site (Pryor, 2012). The reasoning behind this is simple, fossil fuel power plants simply require less space and produce more power compared to solar or wind-generated energy sources.
The efficiency of Production: Examination based on EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested)
EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested) is a unit of measurement used when it comes to examining the economic feasibility of differing types of energy infrastructure projects. It is used to examine the energy obtained versus the energy expended in power generation. Heun & De Wit (2012) explains that, in one way or another, all of the world’s energy is obtained by expending energy. There are always costs involves involved in its creation and, as such, in order to determine the economic feasibility of a particular type of energy generation from a strategic management perspective, it is important to utilize EROEI as a means of determining whether there is a “sufficient return on investment” so to speak when it comes to an energy infrastructure project. For the purpose of this project, EROEI can be simplified into units of energy spent on units of energy received (Barradale, 2010).
For example, if a project spends 1 unit of energy in order to receive 2 units of energy as a return of investment, then it can be stated that its EROEI is 2 (Heun & De Wit, 2012). The same example applies to escalating types of EROEI such as 1 unit of energy expended for 10 units of energy received. Thus, from this example, it is seen that the higher the number of EROEI, the greater the value of the energy. Through the case analysis of (Weißbach et al., 2013), EROEI can be considered a fundamental unit of measurement when it comes to judging the economic feasibility of wind power within the context of particular environments based on the needs of local populations. The DiBenedetto (2008) study which examined the potential for wind power in Saudi Arabia showed that it has an EROEI of roughly 8. This means that for every unit of energy spent in the production of a wind farm there are 8 units received in energy. From a certain perspective, this bodes well for wind power given the apparently high rate of return, especially when comparing this method of eco-energy with solar power which has an EROEI of 5.
However, Majidi (1995) explains that despite the fact that wind energy has an EROEI of 8; Saudi Arabia continues to source most of its energy needs (95%) through the use of fossil fuel. The reason behind this is connected to the fact that petroleum has an EROEI of 30 (Green, 2006). This difference in efficiency in energy production is the main reason why fossil fuel-rich areas such as Saudi Arabia and Russia prefer to utilize fossil fuels as their primary means of production since from an efficiency standpoint; it makes economic sense to invest in fossil fuel-based methods of energy production given the higher rate of return. From a strategic management perspective, the feasibility of any project is dependent on its capacity to produce a certain return on investment for the effort undertaken (Green, 2006). While wind-based energy does have a respectable EROEI level, the fact remains that the overall level of efficient energy production is nowhere near the rate needed to supply large urban populations.
Brown (2008) explains that the efficiency of production is one of the most important aspects when examining the viability of energy production given the voracious need of an ever-expanding population. Depending on the sheer amount of people within a given area, more efficient types of energy production would be necessary. Taking this context into consideration, Kaldellis & Kapsali (2013) points to the example of Holland, the Netherlands, and Denmark who widely utilize wind energy within their electricity grids. It is important to note that Denmark has a population of 5,602,538, while Holland and the Netherlands have population levels of 6,065,459 and 16,819,595 respectively. Thus, given conservative estimates of population growth within Western Europe, the population of the countries that have been stated will grow at roughly 4% every 4 to 5 years or so. In comparison, countries such as China and Russia which are among the highest energy consumers in the world have populations of 150 million and 1.1 billion respectively (Case, 2008). This means that in terms of correlating energy needs with the efficiency of production, larger populations that consume energy at a higher level than their smaller counterparts need higher efficiency ratios, otherwise the level of energy produced will be insufficient to keep up with the population growth rate (Case, 2008).
This is not to say that wind energy is not viable, rather, it is used only within the context of the availability of natural resources coupled with a sufficiently small enough population that its EROEI ratio is acceptable (Grothe & Schnieders, 2011). While utilizing renewable energy resources presents itself as a viable method of clean energy production the only inherent problem though with utilizing resources such as solar and wind power is that they are not as reliable compared to fossil fuel burning plants (Grothe & Schnieders, 2011). Solar energy is dependent on the sun, while locations such as the U.A.E and Saudi Arabia have more than enough free space to establish a solar array, the fact remains that energy production cannot be done when there is no sunlight, as such solar power has a distinct limitation in that it cannot provide electricity 24 hours a day (Polyak, 2007).
On the other hand, wind power is not on a set schedule compared to solar power and can run at any time of day or night, however, wind power as a source of electricity is subject to a certain degree of unpredictability since there is no definite assurance that air currents will blow in a certain spot on a constant basis. This is one of the reasons why wind power has a relatively low EROEI as compared to fossil fuels since it is the unpredictability of production that creates issues in efficiency (Polyak, 2007). Do note though that the inherent problem in utilizing fossil fuel-burning power plants is the resulting carbon dioxide waste that gets expelled into the atmosphere. It must be noted that increased amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere especially in areas where there are few natural ways for the resulting gases to be absorbed results in a significant accumulation in the air for quite some time which has the potential to cause various respiratory diseases (Moriarty & Honnery, 2007).
China which possesses one of the world’s most extensive power grids which utilizes dozens of fossil fuel-burning power plants has seen a rise in respiratory diseases as the amount of smog in the air continues to accumulate. The same adverse conditions have been noted in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Australia, and other fossil fuel-dependent countries where the majority of energy production methods are fossil fuels (Moriarty & Honnery, 2007). Taking this into consideration, it can be stated that while fossil fuels have a high EROEI in terms of efficiency of production, there is an unavoidable environmental cost for their continued usage which should be taken into consideration when it comes to their use in national power grids given the long term problems that they may cause.
Examination based on Current Energy Consumption and Use
Another means by which the feasibility of wind farms is conducted is based on the production of energy and its use within a particular region. Marphatia (2009) explains that in order to assess whether a wind farm would be viable within a particular part of the country, it is important to assess whether energy consumption matches the capacity of the wind farm to produce energy. An example of a failure to do so was noted in the case of Egypt wherein a lack of sufficient long term examination versus current and future demand resulted in an energy investment that quickly showed how it was insufficient in meeting the needs of the population (Gold, 2009). Egypt introduced both solar and wind energy into its electricity-producing infrastructure in the past decade. However, the result was the wind turbine installations in the Red Sea producing only 230 MW while the solar energy array only produced 30 MW. When taking into consideration the fact that Egypt required 36GW within the next 10 years (which has already passed) in order to keep up with demand show how it is important to first assess long-term energy needs with the capacity of eco-energy to actually meet them (Gold, 2009).
One feature of the current energy consumption system currently being utilized by Russia is that the consumption of electricity within the country is heavily subsidized by the government with most if not all energy production coming from fossil fuel burning power plants that utilize the same oil that the various countries within the Emirate export (Energy: Industry Update, 2010). The main contributor to energy consumption within Russia is its harsh climate, the fact is Russia is located in an area of the world with harsh winters whose primary export is oil and petroleum-based products. It was the oil industry that started the rapid industrialization of the region in an area that for all intents and purposes is one of the harshest places on the planet to live (Energy: Industry Update, 2010).
Such an environment places certain unique strains on the energy production capabilities of the region not apparent in other areas. For example, during winter months the outside temperature can reach up to -20 degrees Celsius or more which necessitates the need for constant and continuous energy use by the vast amount of heating systems within the various regions in the country (McCurry, 2005). It is due to its harsh climate and heavy consumption that within the context of Russia, an assessment of wind energy viability needs to take into consideration how changing seasons abruptly change the level of energy consumption with winter usually brining in higher energy consumption costs as compared to spring, summer or fall.
Examination based on alternatives
Another means of strategic management involving wind power generation is assessing the viability of alternatives in the face of the energy needs of a local populace. Dodge (2007) explains that the process of power generation is a way in which to meet the energy needs of a population. While it may be true that a sufficiently extensive wind farm can produce up to 250 megawatts of electricity, the fact remains that if a local population needs several gigawatts or even terawatts of power, the use of a wind farm; no matter how non-polluting would be useless (Miller, 2008). While it is often argued that wind generation at least helps to preserve the environment, the fact remains that there are other alternatives that can also be pursued in terms of a method of power generation that is similarly non-polluting but is capable of producing large amounts of power (Bandza, 2007).
On average a single fossil fuel power plant can go through several thousand barrels of oil in a single day, NPPs on the other hand use nuclear fuel rods which can last several years and are relatively inexpensive when compared to costs of oil (Farhat & El-Hawary, 2010). While there are concerns regarding the possibility of meltdowns and radiation poisoning most NPPs have several backup systems to prevent this and so far in the history of the technology only 3 incidences of a nuclear meltdown have occurred and in all cases, it was usually due to human error and not a failure of the technology itself. Daily operations at an NPP are not as polluting compared to the emissions of fossil fuel-burning power plants.
The steam seen being emitted by various NPPs is merely evaporated water and does not truly present a threat to the environment (Harris, 2013). As such as far as emissions are concerned nuclear technology is a far cleaner method of energy production. As for its ability to produce electricity, a single nuclear reactor (depending on the size and scale) can rival and exceed the energy-producing capabilities of several fossil fuel plant and the amount of energy loss is also minimized due to the overall design of the energy collection system (Moghaddam et al., 2013). Taking this into consideration, an assessment as to whether alternative power sources can be utilized is needed when it comes to assessing the viability of wind generation. Despite the abundance of areas where wind generation can be utilized, it must still be able to meet the power needs of a local populace. Justifying it under the
Examination Based on Long Term Energy needs
Another method of assessing the socio-economic viability of wind power generation is by examining the long term needs of a local population. Hetzer (2008) explains that when it comes to assessing a location for a wind farm, it is important to determine whether the development of the wind farm will be able to match the demographic growth within the region in the years to come. It is not so much that the environment is viable for wind generation; rather, it has to be determined whether the capacity of the wind farm to actually match the needs of the local population can be met. While constructing a wind farm can help to meet energy needs within the immediate short term, the fact remains that wind farms are not as easily scalable as compared to fossil fuel power plants given the start-up costs (Otterbourg, 2011).
As such, while wind farms are not polluting, they are difficult to scale when it comes to greater local demand for more power. This issue can be resolved in cases where there are low levels of population growth such as in Denmark and the Netherlands where wind power is becoming increasingly more viable given the low population density and even lower levels of population growth, however, in cases such as Russia, Egypt, the U.S. and China, whose populations are increasingly exponentially at a rapid pace, such an issue cannot be easily resolved through wind power generation and, as such, alternative methods need to be sought in such instances (Minh et al., 2012).
One factor to consider when taking such figures into consideration is the fact that Russia’s population is estimated to grow by at least 26 million more people by 2035 resulting in an even greater strain on the country’s resource infrastructure (Zugno et al. 2013). This means that the use of utilities such as electricity will continue to grow along with the amount of carbon pollution released into the atmosphere which will reach astronomical rates due to the increase in domestic consumption (Zeng et al., 2014). The reason these particular facts are mentioned is due to the fact that they are directly responsible for the current problems in remedying the problem regarding wind power viability in Russia.
First and foremost, it must be mentioned once more than 90% of Russia’s current power supply comes from direct fossil fuel resources of which coal-burning power plants contribute a great percentage. As the population of Russia grows and the demand for power increases it has been shown by studies such as those by (Liu et al. (2013) that the predilection of the Russian government has been to create more fossil fuel burning power plants due to their relatively inexpensive cost in building and the fact that they have worked effectively for so long. In fact, there are already even more plans to build several more fossil fuel burning power plants near Moscow due to its proximity to coal deposits that fuel most of these plants.
While it may be true that governments have the responsibility in ensuring the continued safety and health of their populace, the fact remains that in the case of the ever-increasing power demands of Russia it is apparent that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and in this case, the apparent effect of mining and building power plants within the local area takes precedence over the health and well-being of citizens within Russia (Yang et al., 2012).
Examination based on Environmental Issues
Environmental considerations must also be taken into account since the continued expansion of fossil fuel power plants within the various regions in Russia may very likely cause various negative environmental reactions associated with pollution and climate change (Kongnam & Nuchprayoon, 2010). It has already been shown by numerous studies investigating the area that the local environment has been affected and that people within Russia are obviously getting sicker and sicker as a direct result of these actions yet few direct actions have been done.
Honnery & Moriarty (2011) explained this by stating that as people become more aware of the various problems brought about by various methods of power generation, they become more conscious of the need to protect the generation environment and attempt to advocate for cleaner methods of energy production (He et al., 2013). The concept of going green is based on the process of altering approaches towards the consumption and utilization of resources so as to ensure a more environmentally friendly method of using and consuming resources. The basis behind this is the assumption that since the Earth is a closed-off ecosystem with a finite amount of resources if nothing is done to conserve and ensure these resources stay replenishable in the long run there may come a time when the Earth will no longer be able to support human civilization (Hasan et al., 2013).
Such an assumption is not without merit, as the human population continues to expand so too does the demand for resources increase. Unfortunately, resources that command the highest demand (wood, fresh water, and food) are only replenishable to a certain extent while others have a set amount (oil, gas, and certain chemicals) and cannot be replenished at all. Advocates of environmental conservation such as former U.S. vice president Al Gore continue to reiterate the need to change the current rate and method of consumption so as to better utilize resources to ensure that they will continue to remain there for future generations (Safdarian et al., 2012). It must be noted though that the concept of going green is not a recent trend rather it has been going since the early 1970s through the creation of various recycling programs and centers.
While going green through resource conservation is actually financially beneficial for most countries given lower health care costs, many actually attempt the change over in order to create an effective means of positioning with the general public (i.e. for future elections) (Wang et al, 2013). Various studies have shown that due to the growing trend in environmental conservation many consumers would be willing to spend money on products that indicate that they were created through environmentally beneficial practices rather than products that do not have such a distinction.
However, it should be noted that the Russian government can ill-afford any interruptions to Russia’s voracious appetite for power, stopping operations at power plants and mines that have exhibited flagrant abuses of the environmental code would cause potential power crises within Russia to affect the city’s economy which would definitely be detrimental for the government (Golitsyn et al., 2012). It is based on this that despite numerous means of remediation or intervention it is unlikely that any venture will truly succeed unless alternative forms of power can be found immediately to replace fossil fuel usage, an outcome that is highly unlikely within the immediate future.
Literature review summary
The inherent problem with finding a solution to this issue is the fact that the problem goes far beyond merely finding a means of assessing wind energy but rather is connected to the power needs of Russia. It can actually be expected based on the estimates given within this paper that as Russia continues to grow so too will its power needs which as a result will directly affect Russia. There are already potential plans being formulated to build even more power plants within the country. One of the potential avenues of approach that has been advocated by local environmental groups is the use of renewable energy resources as an alternative to coal-fired power plants. The main issue with renewable energy resources is that they are as of yet an unreliable form of main energy generation for a country. Commercially speaking when comparing fossil fuel-burning power plants to either solar-powered arrays or wind turbines most energy producers would choose to construct a fossil fuel burning plant rather than a renewable energy production site.
The reasoning behind this is simple, fossil fuel power plants simply require less space and produce more power compared to solar or wind-generated energy sources. This is actually one of the primary reasons why 90% of Russia’s power supply is from fossil fuel-powered power plants they are simply cheaper, produce what is needed, and easy to setup as compared to renewable energy production. However, based on what has been revealed in this section, it has been shown that proper strategic management assessment of economic viability can be implemented so as to better justify the use of wind energy within certain contexts. While it is not viable on a large scale as seen in the case of Egypt, instances of utilizing wind energy for smaller population sets have been shown as a viable method. Thus, what this section has shown is that assessment for wind energy implementation should not be limited to the potential a location has for wind energy generation, rather, it should be examined whether a nearby local population would be better served through wind power rather than by being connected to a nationwide power grid.
The inherent problem with any strategic management plan that focuses on the use of wind-generated energy is that it has to deal with the energy needs of Russia which is one of the primary reasons behind the lack of alternative energy development within the region. While it may be true that governments have the responsibility in ensuring the continued safety and health of their populace, the fact remains that in the case of the ever-increasing power demands of Russia, it is apparent that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few and in this case, the apparent environmental impact of power plants within the local area takes precedence over the health and well-being of citizens within Russia. How else can it be explained that despite the extensive areas where wind-generated power can be utilized there has been little in the way of sufficient development of proper wind farms? While it is true that there are currently some in operation, they represent less than 1 percent of Russia’s energy generation capacity. The fact is that the Russian government can ill-afford any interruptions to Russia’s voracious appetite for energy, shifting operations towards methods of power generation with a much lower EROEI is simply not logical from a strategic management perspective and would cause a potential power crisis within Russia affecting the country’s economy which would definitely be detrimental for the government.
Wind Energy Assessment Processes Currently Used in Russia
At the present, there are some similarities yet a great number of differences between the process of evaluation between wind power evaluation and those utilized in other countries. At the present, wind power assessment is based on environmental considerations, land availability, local governmental support, presence of potential customers, presence of strong, and growing power demand in the region. While aspects related to long-term energy needs and the environmental impact of the method of energy production are similar, some of the assessment processes that are missing are assessments based on energy density, EROEI (Energy Return on Energy Invested), and examinations based on alternatives. While assessments regarding the viability of wind resources are an inherent part of normal methods of wind power assessment, for the purpose of this study they are not delved into great detail given the obviousness of the process behind it. Rather, this study chose to focus on the production processes and scale of the approach due to its focus on assessing wind energy from a strategic management perspective.
What must be understood is that by incorporating examinations on comparable energy density, EROEI and the energy needs of local populations, assessments conducted within countries such as Saudi Arabia, Australia, the U.A.E, and even the U.K. were able to assess the economic viability of wind farm production versus the inherent energy growth rate of their respective populations. What the processes showed was that was it lacking in Russia’s assessment process involving strategic management of wind energy is a lack of development in terms of estimating the needed energy density, EROEI versus the needs of the local population. While it may be true that Russia does determine the energy needs of particular regions, there is little in the strategy that takes into consideration energy density, EROEI, and how these factors help to determine whether wind energy can be viable. What this paper has revealed so far is that as a whole, wind energy is not really viable for a vast majority of Russia’s populace given the limited production capabilities of the technology and the high energy needs of Russia’s various cities.
When taking into consideration its extensive fossil fuel resources, Russia as a whole simply does not need wind energy production. However, when taking into consideration its far-flung regions and the various problems related to supplying these regions with electricity via fossil fuel power plants and large installations of cables and wires to deliver electricity, it can be seen that there are numerous areas in Russia that simply do not have a stable source of electricity. What you have to understand is that the processes of examination related to EROEI and energy density have revealed that there are certain contextual cases where wind energy is actually a better choice. Such instances show that for smaller populations in far-flung areas, the needed energy density and EROEI are far lower as compared to larger metropolitan areas. As such, by utilizing EROEI and energy density as a means of calculating the energy needs of a local populace, it is possible to justify the development of wind energy bases energy infrastructures as a primary means of energy.
The reason behind this is connected to the fact that it simply does not make sense to develop a fossil fuel power plant and have it operate at a low capacity when alternatives can be utilized that can help to supply small communities in the long term based on a careful examination utilizing EROEI and energy density. From a strategic management perspective, this helps to resolve the initial economic infeasibility associated with wind-generated power that made it appear as a less viable means of energy production. The current view on Russia’s power grid is one of interconnectedness, however, an alternative has been shown wherein utilizing smaller power grids and using eco-energy as their primary power source as being a sufficient alternative given the low energy capacities needed by small communities.
One of the current problems when it comes to proper win energy assessment in Russia from a strategic management perspective is the fact that there is a distinct lack of direct government intervention in addressing or even properly acknowledging the fact that there is even a problem at all. For example, the government, while generally supportive of environmental preservation and conservatism, has failed to take into account the potential that wind energy holds and how the country has numerous wind energy resources it could take advantage of and utilize if only proper methods of assessment were implemented. If greater government intervention could occur in this situation involving either stronger political or public support, then this would go a long way towards resolving the current lack of sufficient investment in wind power generation within the country. Direct government intervention in this case would involve an acknowledgment of the seriousness of the situation in Russia and lawfully enforceable mandates regarding energy infrastructure development.
It must be noted though that despite this particular method possibly bringing about the greatest potential remedy for the current problem, it is unlikely to occur due to several reasons. The first involves the situation mentioned earlier regarding the power-hungry nature of Russia and its continually increasing energy requirements. The second is the fact that jobs mining and working for the electrical companies are actually one of the backbone careers within the local community and their loss would result in a devastating blow for possibly hundreds of people. Without valid research and public support behind it, there is very little likelihood that the government will even attempt to do anything at all. It is based on this that while this particular option would result in the greatest amount of direct change it is also an approach that would least likely happen due to the nature of governments being swayed by the beneficial effects of a project in its entirety rather than the detrimental effects it could have on a minority.
It is the recommendation of this paper that future studies involving EROEI and energy density delve into the potential solar power has in Russia give its rather large available surface area and how solar energy technology has improved considerably within the past few years.
Based on everything that I have gone over in this paper, I have come to the conclusion that when it comes to implementing any form of wind power generation within Russia, what is needed is the political will in order to do so. This can only be achieved through effective leadership practices that are done by a politician that truly wants to enact effective change in Russia’s energy infrastructure. Effective leadership is defined as the ability to successfully integrate the individual talents of various individuals into a cohesive and cooperative whole that can effectively work together towards a perceived goal. Based on this definition, the characteristics of an effective leader consists of being able to create cooperation and cohesiveness within a team setting, promote and guide the individual talents of team members, create effective and open lines of communication within the team and set appropriate goals and expectations in order for people to understand what is expected of them. Such characteristics are needed within the context of Russia since there is no political will to actually do anything about the country’s current energy situation. What is needed is a farm firmer approach towards energy investment that factors in the current situation of Russia with what the country needs to prepare for in the future.
When it comes to successfully implanting the needed government mindset to invest in alternative energy resources such as wind power, one must always take into account three distinct factors namely: the decisions that you will make in the future, how you will treat your constituents and how to acknowledge personal mistakes when they are made. When it comes to the process of making decisions critical thinking plays an important role in being able to make the right decisions at the right time. At the present, there is still enough time to prepare for the inevitable “energy crunch” that will occur once the country’s fossil fuel reserves are finished. There is an old saying that states “time waits for no one” such a statement exemplifies the decision making process need within the contact of Russia’s energy infrastructure where critical evaluations must be done quickly, effectively, and above all correctly in order to ensure the success of the changes needed. On the other hand being, a leader also entails the level of interaction one has with his/her constituents (i.e. citizens).
Effective leadership must always take into account the various nuances that compose a population and learn to effectively mitigate problems, guide individuals appropriately, and be a leader that is open to communication and new ideas. It is not enough that a leader believes in the need for wind energy, the local population must also believe in its use as well in order to develop sufficient public support for the energy infrastructure project. By getting the general public to support the project, ensures that a leader is able to “push” the government towards investing in the right energy sources in order to achieve more successful goals in the future. Lastly, leadership success when it comes to investing in alternative energy such as wind power is always measured by the amount of accountability a person takes for his actions. Whether in success or failure, accountability is the ability of a person to accept responsibility for one’s actions and learn from them, a trait that is important in being able to make sound leadership decisions in the future.
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