27 February 2012, 14:59

Skolkovo focuses on energy saving technology

Skolkovo focuses on energy saving technology
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All Russians will get access to energy saving technology within the next several years, a source in the energy efficiency cluster of the Skolkovo Innovation Center project said.

All Russians will get access to energy saving technology within the next several years, a source in the energy efficiency cluster of the Skolkovo Innovation Center project said.

In 2008 Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the bill “On measures to increase energy and ecological efficiency of the Russian economy”, thus taking the first step to reduce energy consumption of the national economy by 40% by the year 2020. Some advanced technologies are already in use, although they are very expensive and are hardly available to the masses.

The energy efficiency cluster of the Skolkovo Innovation Center has been dealing with inventing new energy saving devices as well as with reducing the cost of existing products. For example, light - emitting diodes (LED), semiconductor light sources, are several times more effective than popular energy saving bulbs. Currently, experts at the Skolkovo center are working on five projects aimed to reduce the cost of LEDs and increase their energy efficiency. The center also plans to produce next generation lamps using organic light-emitting diodes, OLEDs.  Energy saving technologies are also going to be applied in heating, executive director for the Skolkovo energy efficiency cluster Vasily Belov says.

"There is a very promising draw-in technology of repairing a conduit, using brand new flexible and cheap materials which extend the conduits` service life up to 20 years. There are also some new products to ensure security and purify heating systems affected by poor water quality. This is quite a problem in Russia, with millions of people experiencing irregular heating in their flats due to polluted conduits. We now offer environmentally-friendly technology to purify conduits without dismantling them."

The Skolkovo Innovation Center has been working on some other projects not directly related to energy saving but also expected to help people spend less on heating, Vasily Belov says.

"We also have some green energy projects, part of them are long-term, while the implementation of others is about to begin. There are 4 wind power projects, and others offering the use of biofuels. As far as associated petroleum gas is concerned, instead of being burnt off it can be used effectively to increase oil and gas production and reduce petroleum prices."

Not only residents of the Skolkovo research hub but some foreign companies have also been dealing with energy efficiency projects.  An agreement was signed late last year between Imperial College in London and the Boreskov Institute of Catalysis in Novosibirsk to launch the first international laboratory to increase efficiency of oil and gas processing and boost the oil-refining catalyst industry. The project will be jointly sponsored by Skolkovo and British Petroleum.

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