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U.S.S.R.: Energy efficiency and prospects

Yury Sinyak

Energy, 1991, vol. 16, issue 5, 791-815

Abstract: The U.S.S.R. is the largest energy producer and the second largest energy consumer in the world. Its share of global energy use reached above 17% in 1988. The Soviet energy system is characterized by low efficiency and high per capita energy consumption, although there are some reasons justifying the greater U.S.S.R. energy use per unit of product output than in other industrialized countries. The present energy-savings potential is approximately equal to one-half of the domestic energy consumption. Improvements in energy efficiency at all levels of the national economy are now considered to be the primary goal of national energy policy for the next couple of decades. Being endowed with abundant natural gas resources, the U.S.S.R. will count on this energy source in the future to improve its energy efficiency, reduce expenses and cope with air pollution. After 2005–2010, stabilized primary energy consumption may be reached or there may even be a decline of total energy use. The U.S.S.R. could reduce CO2 emissions by 20% by 2030 but with substantial negative impacts on GNP growth. Required improvements in the Soviet energy system depend on changes in energy management, including reduction of the role of centralized planning, decentralization and privatization of energy-producing facilities, energy-price reforms, reshaping of investment patterns, reduction in military expenditures, etc.

Date: 1991
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