Russian electricity company RAO UES has revealed that the first nine months of 2006 saw a 5.3% increase in its power plant's electricity generation from 477.8 billion kWh in the same period of 2005 to 503.1 billion kWh this year.

According to the company, in January-September 2006, Russia’s electricity consumption grew 4.6% to 697.4 billion kWh from 666.9 billion kWh. In September, electricity consumption grew by 3.8% to 71.1 billion kWh from 68.5 billion kWh. The September figure is much higher than the 2.05% increase projected for the entire 2006 incorporated in the forecast energy balance approved by the regulator.

In 2006, a dramatic increase in power use was observed for the first time not only in winter, during the period of extremely low temperatures, but also during the summer months. According to the company, this increase is due to both economic growth and increased electricity use by the residential sector.

In September, the company’s hydropower plants generated 10.6 billion kWh, up 1%. However, in the first nine months of 2006, hydro power generation declined by 3% to 93.9 billion kWh. This was due to lower water inflow levels in the reservoirs of several large hydro power plants located in the European part of Russia, mostly in the Volga-Kama basin.

Thermal generation by RAO UES power plants grew 7.4% to 409.2 billion kWh. In September, the thermal power plants generated 39.4 billion kWh, up 2.6%.