Russia’s deputy minister of industry and energy, Andrei Reus, has said that the country will reach close to the world average rating of energy efficiency by 2020. The government wants to halve energy consumption with respect to GDP by 2020 and nearly one-third of these savings are expected to come from the energy industry.

Reforms in the electricity industry and in tariff structure are expected to deliver these improvements. Restructuring is currently underway in 52 regional energo subsidiaries of RAO UES, the country’s dominant energy player, and the Federal Grid Company, System Operator and two of three wholesale generation companies are already operating or registered with the regulatory authorities. Despite some criticisms over the slow pace of reform, foreign investors remain interested in the sector with the prospect of taking part in such a massive sell off is tempting major European utilities, further enhancing the prospect of efficiency improvements over the coming years.