Renewable Energy Federalism in Russia: Regions as New Actors for the Promotion of Clean Energy

Anatole Boute

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Russia is not only rich in natural gas, oil, coal and uranium. It also
holds a considerable renewable energy resource base. The Federal Electricity Law mandates the federal Government to stimulate the development of renewable energy sources. However, so far, the Government has failed to create a functioning regulatory framework that would ensure the financial viability of these investments. This article examines the role that regional authorities could play in developing clean energy in the Russian Federation. Building further upon the environmental federalism literature, this article analyses the regulatory barriers to regional feed-in tariffs in Russia and, based on the US experience, proposes legal solutions to overcome these barriers. Russia—because of its role as a fossil fuel superpower, its weak track record on climate change mitigation, together with high political centralisation of power—is a unique case for an analysis of the role of regions as innovators of sustainable development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-291
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Environmental Law
Issue number2
Early online date30 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

This article has benefited from considerable input in the context of the author’s involvement as legal adviser to the IFC Russia Renewable Energy Programme. It is based on a presentation to the research seminar on New Actors in the Russian Energy Sector organised by the Russian and Caspian Energy Developments (Russcasp) and Aleksanteri CoE groups in Oslo on 12–13 December 2012. The author is grateful to Margarita Balmaceda and Arild Moe for the invitation to participate in the workshop. Many thanks to Katharina Merkel and Neale Tosh for outstanding research assistance and to Arild Moe, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Patrick Willems, Anna Vishniakova, Anton Chernyshev and Alexey Zhikharev for their comments on an earlier draft of this article. This article represents the views of the author only, not necessarily of the organisations to which the author is associated.


  • Renewable energy
  • feed-in tariffs
  • environmental federalism
  • Russia


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