The Republic of Belarus is bordered by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia. The population of Belarus is approximately 9.49 million people.
In 1922. Belarus became a republic in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The republic officially declared its sovereignty on August 27, 1990, and following the collapse of the USSR, declared independence as the Republic of Belarus on August 25, 1991.
In 2021, Belarus’s economy was ranked 72nd in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of potash fertilizers, refined petroleum, cheese, delivery trucks, and sawn wood.
Power Generation Capabilities
In 2021, 100% of the people in Belarus had access to electricity. In 2021, utilities used natural gas (93.8%), nuclear energy (13.2%), and renewable energy (3.0%) to generate electricity in Belarus. Biomass and hydropower are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Belarus.
Recent renewable energy projects in Belarus include:
- 109 Solar Project – In January 2021, Belarus company Zao Belzarubezhstroy commissioned the Cherikov solar project at a site approximately 180 miles east of the nation’s capital, Minsk.
- 55 MW Solar Project – In October 2017, Belarus company Belorusnef commissioned the Belorusneft Rechytsa Solar PV Park at a site approximately 175 miles southeast of Minsk.
Belarus imports virtually all fossil fuels (crude oil, coal, and natural gas) for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2021, Belarus imported U.S. $6.97 Billion just for crude oil.
In 2021, Belarus used natural gas, a fossil fuel to generate 93.8% of the nation’s electricity. In 2023, virtually all of Belarus’s fossil fuels are imported from Russia.
On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.
Belarus has been slow to develop the nation’s renewable energy resources, compared to Lithuania, Latia, and Estonia. As a result, Belarus is completely dependent on Russian fossil fuels imports for the nation’s power generation, heating, and transportation.
Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has become a military and economic catastrophe for Russian President Vladimir Putin. As a result, President Putin is now using access to fossil fuels to pressure Belarus to join Russia in the war against Ukraine.
The development of the nation’s significant renewable energy resources is the only path for Belarus to gain energy independence from Russia
Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”
Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on numerous energy related topics.