Within the framework of the global climate agenda and the general direction of reducing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, it is necessary to look not for ways to abandon traditional generation, but for opportunities to reduce the impact of hydrocarbon energy on the environment. This was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak as part of his participation in the SPIEF discussion “Adaptation to Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities”. The Deputy Prime Minister told, through what mechanisms and strategies Russia is going to reduce the impact of energy on the environment, as well as what is the role of renewable energy sources in this work.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, despite the growing list of countries wishing to abandon hydrocarbon energy sources, the tendency to switch to clean energy sources raises more and more questions in the society of large countries – energy consumers. “The coal industry today occupies about 25% of the global energy balance. Why ban it? Instead of bans, it is better to set the task of increasing its energy efficiency, introducing the most modern technologies that reduce emissions into the atmosphere. If this is an economic struggle between various energy producers, then it must be a market one, ”said the Deputy Prime Minister.
He emphasized that in matters of the impact of energy on the environment, Russia takes a clear position, which is the need to improve energy efficiency, reduce the carbon footprint of fuel and energy products, as well as its energy intensity. “We have established a requirement to reduce emissions of associated petroleum gas, its utilization must be at least 95%, and in this area the companies have done a lot of work in recent years. This gas is already used to generate electricity in the fields or is transported for its generation, part of the gas is injected into the reservoirs. We must continue to work in this direction. Our task is to diversify the traditional energy sector, ”added Alexander Novak.
Another important direction for Russia, he said, is the development and implementation of a new clean energy strategy. “Just this week, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin signed a new program to support renewable energy in Russia – solar and wind power generation. And despite the fact that they still have a small share in the energy balance, we have actually created a new industry that we did not have. In addition, we are preparing a draft law to introduce green certificates into circulation, which will allow us to confirm the environmentally friendly consumption of our energy. There are two more important areas – the development of charging infrastructure, nuclear and hydrogen energy, ”the Deputy Prime Minister said.
It is due to the development of a new direction of the state energy policy – hydrogen energy – that Russia could significantly improve its indicators of emissions into the atmosphere, stressed Alexander Novak during the discussion “Decarbonization trend – how the world will change” at the SPIEF. In his report, he spoke in detail about Russia’s long-term plans to work in the new global market for clean energy and the development of hydrogen generation and technologies.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the prospects for hydrogen production by 2050 are estimated from 27 million to 1370 million tons. “Today, the world consumes about 116 million tons of hydrogen, including 74 million tons in industry and oil refining. From our point of view, transport, electricity and construction can become promising areas of growth – today consumption in these industries amounts to only 10 thousand tons. Russia in this market can provide a competitive cost of hydrogen from natural gas, as well as through electrolysis of water based on nuclear power plants. We set ourselves the task of creating an export-oriented production. In terms of hydrogen, we may well occupy a niche of about 20% in world markets – this is the level that we occupy in gas and oil trade, ”noted Alexander Novak.
Achievement of the stated goals would have been impossible without the parallel development of technologies for the production of new fuel, said the Deputy Prime Minister. “We plan to develop advanced domestic hydrogen, fully commercialized technologies for production, large-capacity storage and transportation,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. The development of hydrogen consumption in the domestic market – in transport, housing and communal services and energy – is no less important.
“By order of the Government, a roadmap has already been approved for the development of hydrogen energy in the Russian Federation until 2024, a concept for the development of hydrogen energy has been prepared, and a special project office is being formed. Among the measures in force are support and subsidies for the development of R&D, various technologies, and the construction of a charging infrastructure for hydrogen cars, ”said the Deputy Prime Minister.
In his opinion, the most promising regions in terms of hydrogen production could be the subjects of the Far East, the north of Russia, including the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, as well as the border western and southern territories of the country, where, in particular, special clusters of hydrogen technologies can be created, emphasized Deputy Prime Minister. “The creation of hydrogen clusters, scientific and technical infrastructure, the development of renewable energy sources and the implementation of state support mechanisms, international cooperation are our strategic initiatives in this area. Negotiations are already underway with France and Australia on the localization of technologies, a partnership has been concluded with Germany. I would like to emphasize that for Russia hydrogen is a very important area of new energy, and we plan to occupy our significant niche in the world markets, ”added Alexander Novak.
At the SPIEF site, Alexander Novak also held a bilateral meeting with BP Group CEO Bernard Looney, during which they discussed the company’s work in Russia, as well as with the General Secretary and CEO of the World Energy Council Angela Wilkinson, with whom the Deputy Prime Minister discussed in detail the preparations Russia for the 25th World Energy Congress in St. Petersburg in 2022 and other bilateral work.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.