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VISIT INFORSE.ORG
Vision2050 for Belarus

The INFORSE Vision2050 for Belarus shows how the country could change to renewable energy and efficient use of energy, using local resources such as biomass, wind power and solar energy. An early version was developed in cooperation with Belaya Rus and other Belarus NGOs in 2004; supported by Danish Outdoor Council. A new version was developed in 2008 - 2011 in cooperation with Minsk Division of International Academy of Ecology and supported by Nordic Council of Ministers and European Commission.

The proposed development follows similar path as the European Vision, but given the large biomass and wind potentials, and the desire to reduce fossil fuel imports, the Vision has a focus on actions to turn the current trend into reductions of fossil fuel use, also before 2020. The scenario includes some growth in energy services for household, service and transport sectors, with all growth in transport in rail transport. The scenario includes a transition of the energy supply and demand with phase-out of fossil fuel for energy use over a 35 year period, 2010 - 2045.

If this Vision is turned into reality, it will have many positive effects for Belarus. With a transition to domestic, renewable energy sources, Belarus will no longer be hurt directly by the energy prices increases of gas and other fossil fuels that we have seen in recent years and that many expect will continue as a result of the dwindling resources of fossil fuels. Further, the emphasis on local resources will also benefit the economy with increased employment and a more positive trade balance.

To show the positive effects in more details, an analysis is made of the economic effects of the proposed transition for power and energy, compared with business as usual. See results in the paper to be downloaded in pdf-version at the end of the page.

An underlining assumption for the scenario in the Vision is a generally stable population in Belarus.

Increase in Energy Efficiency
In line with INFORSE’s Global Vision for sustainable energy, the Belarus Vision is based on increase of energy efficiency. A number of studies have shown that with best available technology, on the market or close to market introduction, it is possible to increase energy efficiency with a factor four or more for most energy uses. Most energy consuming equipments will be changed several times until 2045, and if new generations of equipment are made with optimal energy performance, and the market promotes the most efficient technologies, it will not be a problem to reach today's best available technology. This will not happen by itself, but require policies similar to EU policies, with the EU Ecodesign Directive and others.

The Challenge of Reducing Heat Consumption
For buildings the situation is different from equipment and vehicles because buildings often have lifetimes of 100 years or more. Many of the houses to be heated in 2045 are probably already built. Statistics indicates that efficiency of heating did improve at a slow rate 2000 – 2008. The need for large replacement or major renovation of block houses gives an opportunity for large increases in efficiency, if appropriate standards and support is in place. Efforts should be continued as a combination of improving heating installations in houses and improving building exteriors. During the scenario the heating efficiency is expected to triple, leading to a a 2/3 reduction of the specific energy use for heating (heat demand per m2).

Efficient Transport
For transport is assumed that the conversion-efficiency from fuel to transport-work is increased a factor 4 with more efficient cars and with transition to electric traction in rail and road. This increase is expected to happen gradually until 2050. Some road transport will also be converted to biogas and liquid biofuels, but only based on production in Belarus.

Renewable Energy
The use of renewable in the form of biomass has increased in recent years, from 3.5% of primary energy in 2000 to about 5.5% in 2010. With the vision this increase is expected to speed up and reach its full potential by 2030. In the same period the full potential of wind power and biogas is expected to be used. The potential for wind power is set to 2000 MW, given the rather low wind in large parts of Belarus. For liquid biofuel is expected a smaller use, equal to the use of 110,000 tons of rape-seed oil that can be grown on 110,000 ha of agricultural land as a crop (1100 km2). Energy plantation on 4000 km2 of land is expected to be used, with the full potential used fro 2040 onwards. The area proposed for energy plantation is equal to currently abandoned, but fertile agricultural lands.
Renewable energy also includes solar heating and solar electricity (PV) to be gradually developed until 2050 with a total area of 8 m2/person throughout Belarus, and existing hydropower. There is no new hydropower of any geothermal energy included.

Graph: Renewable Energy Development according to sustainable energy vision

Transition to 100% Renewable Energy
The results of the proposals for increasing renewable energy use, increase in energy efficiency, and moderate growth of energy services lead to the transition to renewable energy in about 30 years. One way of the transition is shown in the two graphs below:



The graphs show how the increased energy efficiency leads to reduced primary energy demands, but also to increased power consumption after 2020. when electric transport and heat pumps are introduced in the scenario.

The scenarios for transition to renewable energy of Belarus is described in details in the papers available a the end of this text.

Comparing Sustainable Energy Vision with BAU
To evaluate the above scenario, INFORSE-Europe has compared the Vision with continued use of fossil fuel (business as usual - BAU) in Belarus. The conclusion is that with expected increases in fossil fuel prices, the change to efficient use of renewable energy will reduce future price increases for consumers, including the increases that are happening right now.

Read the Belarus Sustainable Energy Vision (English, 2011, pdf,183 Kb).

Read the calculations on possible future power and energy costs with and without energy vision (English 2011, pdf, 148 kB).

Read the background note with assumptions for vision (English December 2010 pdf 132kB).

Read: Belarus Version on REenergy.by (in Russian) or on INFORSE-cache.

Read russian version 2004: (Contents-page)

Read more about the activities in 2008-2011.

Read more here about the activities between 2001-2004.

The work on this paper and the sustainable energy vision for Belarus is partly paid by funding received from the Nordic Council of Ministers, AirClim in Sweden and the European Commission; but it expresses the findings and the views of the authors and of INFORSE-Europe and not necessarily of the funders and the funders are not liable for use of the information.

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