MOSCOW Russia's state nuclear unit Rosatom is planning to expand into wind power and will look for foreign partners to help build farms in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and Ukraine, its equipment head said on Friday.
"We are looking for a technology partner. The desire of all world leaders (in wind technology) to take part in the Russian wind power market is there," Vladimir Kashenko, Chief Executive of Rosatom's equipment unit Atomenergomash, told Reuters.
Resources-rich Russia currently has almost no wind energy turbines due to its vast reserves of oil and gas, but the government has said it now wants 4.5 percent of power to come from renewable resources by 2020.
That compares with just 1 percent of total electricity being generated from renewable resources in Russia today, and a European Union 2020 target of 20 percent.
Kashenko declined to name potential partners for the project, saying Indian, Chinese or European companies could enter the Russian market.
"I am far from having illusions that we will produce all 100 percent of wind power generators at our enterprises. The market is capacious and other players, of course, will be here," said Kashenko.
One of the world's biggest manufacturers of wind turbines is Germany's Siemens -- which signed a 1 billion euro ($1.36 billion) co-operation agreement with Russian wind power companies earlier this year.
Kashenko said early wind power projects may include the construction of wind farms around seven Russian nuclear power stations from 2012, but the group would then target overseas markets.
"Ukraine is very interesting in terms of alternative energy. In addition we plan to engage with Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Turkey and with other countries traditionally friendly to Russia," he said.
He said he hoped 'green tariffs' would be introduced in Russia next year to ease financial concerns around the project.
Russia President Dmitry Medvedev asked Energy Minister Igor Sechin to look into the issues of alternative energy and tariffs earlier this year.
(Writing by John Bowker; Editing by Andrey Ostroukh)