Date: 30 November 2020

Russia As Hydrogen Giant? Deputy Energy Minister Reveals Optimism

Russia may soon export far bigger volumes of hydrogen than those outlined in a new government policy by 2035, according to the country’s Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin. The government blueprint forecasts 2 million tons of hydrogen per year. The country’s energy and development ministries will be particularly tasked with developing the production of hydrogen, with energy firms like Gazprom, Rosatom, and Novatek serving a major role in this respect.


As Sorokin put it, “our market forecast, albeit conservative, stills looks impressive,” which in his opinion explains why the energy ministry set Russia’s hydrogen potential far bolder than the government strategy. “I mean, provided that our country meets advancement standards, Russia will be able to export many more volumes of hydrogen than just 2 million tons in 2035,” said the deputy energy minister. In October, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved an action plan for the development of hydrogen energy by 2024. The roadmap contains a set of measures to support hydrogen energy in Russia alongside the necessary legal and research base. Hydrogen has become part of Russia’s energy strategy. According to the government, already in 2021, it is planned to adopt a concept for the development of hydrogen energy, create a project office, and set up an interdepartmental working group. The new structures will participate in the development of tools that will support pilot projects. These include methane-hydrogen gas turbines, railway transport prototypes, and hydrogen production facilities free of carbon dioxide emissions. Furthermore, a register of advanced technologies will be compiled, with a number of studies carried out in domains such as the production, storage, and transportation of hydrogen. It is worth mentioning some actions purposed to train highly qualified specialists. Accordingly, the authorities should devise proposals for updating both higher and extra education schemes. According to the Russian government press service, the top goal is both to use hydrogen energy in the domestic economy and make Russia an export of this fuel. Sorokin hopes to send tens of millions of tons of hydrogen both westwards and eastwards, with many conditions met beforehand. Sorokin said among the key actions to develop hydrogen energy in Russia are efforts to grant state aid for country-made, energy-efficient schemes to produce, transport, and store hydrogen. Of special importance is also to improve the legal base, develop human resources, and advance international cooperation.

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