Russia sees big role for hydrogen in energy plans

  • Market: Coal, Crude oil, Hydrogen, Natural gas
  • 12/01/20

Russia aims to utilise its vast fossil fuel resources, nuclear technologies and scientific expertise to become "one of the world's leaders in production and exports of hydrogen" by 2035, deputy prime minister Alexander Novak said.

"Experts say that hydrogen may constitute 7-25pc of the [global] energy balance by 2050, as soon as the issues of high production costs and the challenges related to transportation are resolved," Novak told the Russian-German Rohstoff Forum.

Russia aims to develop technologies to produce hydrogen from natural gas by using nuclear energy. It also plans to develop other low-carbon methods of hydrogen production, Novak said. The country's energy strategy includes state support to build infrastructure to transport hydrogen and promote the use of hydrogen as a transport fuel and as energy storage in the power sector, he said.

Novak sees the EU and Asia-Pacific region as key consumers of hydrogen in the future. Russia and Germany are already working on a joint plan of action on hydrogen development for the energy sector and may look to create partnerships under which Russian hydrogen can be supplied to Germany, Novak said.

Forging a leading position in hydrogen production is a sign that Russia wants to play its part in the transition to a low-carbon energy system. But the country still sees a major role for hydrocarbons for some time to come.

"Russia supports international efforts to prevent climate change, to protect the environment and to use natural resources effectively… We also see that hydrocarbons will remain a leading source of energy in the next decades and that it is important to make sure that they are used in the cleanest way, along with the use of new energy sources," Novak said.

Russia aims to generate about 90pc of its power from gas and non-fossil fuels by 2035, up from 84pc now.

At the moment, over a third of electricity in Russia comes from non-fossil fuel sources — 18.3pc from nuclear power plants, 16pc from hydropower and 0.2pc from other renewables, while gas-fired power plants account for almost half.

"The Russian power sector today is already one of the cleanest in the world. In terms of electricity production, our fuel and energy balance is in line with the logic of a low-carbon world," Novak said.

Novak took a deputy prime minister's role in the Russian government last month having served as energy minister for more than eight years.


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