VLADIVOSTOK (Sputnik) — US companies have a lot of experience in the renewable energy sector and could use it for cooperation with Russia if it moves away from oil and coal, the president of the Council for US-Russia Relations told Sputnik on Thursday.
"Even though I think oil and gas have proven to be probably the greatest sector of opportunity and will continue to be an opportunity. Concurrently, there are a lot of opportunities and I see a lot of interest on the Russian side in renewable energy and alternative energy. And that is an area certainly where there is good US expertise. So we need try to get more of that cooperation going," Derek Norberg said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).
Norberg added that a lot of Russia's power plants use coal to generate energy and increasing the use of gas in the Russian energy sector could be a significant opportunity for cooperation and for the use of US experience.
"The gasification of electrical energy in the Russian Far East is a very good opportunity. And certainly for many of the Northern regions there are examples of smaller scale, autonomous electrical generation plants and the US's very good equipment and engineering ideas could be brought here [to Russia]. So cooperation in a lot of those areas I think is very fruitful," Norberg added.
Meanwhile, the supply of energy resources exceeds its demand in the global market at the moment, but the long- and medium-term forecasts prove that demand will be steadily rising. In this case, cooperation on renewable energy is highly important.
Derek Norberg called Jerry Brown's attendance, who is the incumbent governor of the US state of California, to the EEF an important step for the development of Russia's Far East.
"I think it is very important the governor chooses to come. I don’t know if Governor Brown coming here is a complete shift in a paradigm, but it is an important step. … It is a huge opportunity," Derek Norberg said on the sidelines of the forum.The president of the Council for US-Russia Relations also mentioned that the cooperation between individuals, companies and even between regions could contribute to the normalization of relations between the United States and Russia.
"I believe that the subnational level may be the best avenue for us to improve relations. By that I mean working with regions of the Russian Far East, with states of the United States, working private sector to private sector," Derek Norberg said on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum.
The two-day EEF is currently ongoing in Vladivostok, drawing over 3,500 participants from more than 50 countries. Several world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, are attending the event. Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency is a general media partner of the forum.