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Hardset miniums on heating are not unusual in rental properties everywhere that needs heating, because turning the heat off entirely during a coldspell can cause very expensive damage to the property. Usually it is a bit more flexible and sane than just "Termostat, what termostat?" tough, but the broader point is that while adopting best-practice in insulation could probably cut Russias heating needs in half, half of "Oh, my fracking god" it is still going to be quite a high number.

Russia is quite heavily set on a nuclear path to decarbonization, and I dont really see that they have that much of a choice. - Russia has good hydro reserves, and quite substantial biomass waste from their forestry operations, but other renewable options do not really get along with russian weather. At all.
Not that carbon is why they are doing it - Russia is building reactors because burning gas that could be sold abroad is an affront to gasproms accountants, and the cold war left them with an enormous legacy of institutional expertise in all things related to fission.

by Thomas on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 06:10:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see your point about central heating using water, but I don't see what harm turning off steam would do. Maybe it's simply that there's no way of switching it off without switching it off to the apartments above you.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 06:51:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
wind turbines have run in Arctic and Antarctic environments since the 80's, cheaper than nukes. they run in the Ukraine, they can run in Russia. and they're modular, can build a vast supply chain in a few years.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin
by Crazy Horse on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 08:36:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russias cost of nuclear is not the same as the cost in the west. Very emphatically not. They have an ongoing build programme that clocks in at about 2.5 billion dollars per reactor, and without significant price overuns. (they do have regular delays due to not having enough capital) I am not sure how that works out per kwh as I have no clue what cost of capital Rosatom pays, but as they are planning to base reactors in the Kalingrad enclave on the baltic explicitly in order to export electricity to europe, their accountants presumably reckon that it is outright cheaper than european coal fired power.

Also, the planned Arkhangelesk, Voronezh, Saratov, Dimitrovgrad Chukoyka, Severodvinsk, Leningrad and Severs plants are to be either exclusively heating, or cogen plant which, no, windmills really not an option for that.

by Thomas on Tue Feb 7th, 2012 at 02:30:23 PM EST
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