During the 51st edition of the GECF Gas Lecture Series, titled ‘Russian Federation’s oil environment strategy,’ the most urgent issues of the century such as climate change, renewable energy, and sustainable growth were debated.
Virtually speaking during a webinar on the national energy environment program, Alexey Kulapin, the Director General of the Russian energy agency, which is a specialist entity of the Russian Federation’s energy ministry.
By further developing its human resources, natural gas, hydrogen and renewable assets, Russia has a multistake plan to fight climate change.
“Russia’s energy policy is based on the need to strike a balance between solving climate problems and the need to further provide the economy and population with affordable energy resources,” explained Kulapin, the head of state-run Agency under the ambit of the Energy Ministry of Russia – one of the 11 founding GECF Member Countries.
Calling access to affordable energy a fundamental right, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 7, the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) Secretary General Yury Sentyurin commended the steps being taken by many of the Forum’s 19 Member Countries to achieve net-zero emissions.
He said, “Our other Member Countries are also leading the way in transforming their business model. Qatar, for example, is playing a greater role in the area of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investments. Yet another member, Egypt, has blanket banned issuing of all new vehicle licences unless they run on the cleaner natural gas.”
“In the long-term economic growth and population increase we project the global primary energy demand to expand by 24 percent during the period until 2050. The future structure of global energy mix will become more diversified with natural gas and renewables becoming the leading sources that will supply our future energy. Natural gas will displace other energy sources and sectors and will be indispensable in the long term as a global enabler to the transition of low carbon energy system.”
“Access to energy is crucial to meet basic needs to improve living standards, reduce poverty, enable organization, strengthen, and foster economies. In addition, access to low-cost energies curveted with human development indicators such as increased life expectancy, education and economic development. GECF considers technology as vital to advance in global climate change solutions and our member countries support innovative natural gas technologies to drive continuous improvement, the goal of net zero emissions. We believe the mission’s mitigation potential of natural gas can increase with large deployment of carbonization options like Carbon Capture, Utilisation, and Storage (CCUS) as well as hydrogen development,” he added.
He said, “As we continue to focus on fighting COVID-19 and its consequences to the global economy the clock has not stopped ticking on another global emergency of our lifetime, the climate crisis.
Kulapin acknowledged Russia’s full endorsement of the global community’s attempts to fight climate chance is one of the biggest players on the international energy market. He stressed that, as part of Russia’s ratification of the Paris Agreement, the Russian President signed in November 2020 a decree to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Natural gas, like liquefied natural gas (LNG), would remain the cleanest energy option until new sources of energy will provide an uninterrupted energy supply, according to Kulapin, and would also act as a transportation fuel to a low-carbon economy.
Russia currently produces about 30 million tonnes of LNG per year (mtpa), which is expected to grow by 2 to 2.5 times to 80-140 million by 2035, according to the recently adopted “Energy Strategy 2035.” In addition, attempts are being made to expand the use of gas in the energy business.
In the period 2018-20, a total of 250 compressed natural gas refueling stations opened, representing a 60% improvement over previous capability. In the area of electricity, Kulapin claimed that Russia already has one of the cleanest power grids in the world, with nuclear, hydroelectric, steam gas, and thermal cogeneration accounting for 80 percent of total generation. In terms of low-emission energy sources for electricity generation, this compares to the United States (65%), Germany (57%) and China (below 30%), he said.
The official pointed out his excitement with respect to hydrogen in different areas as the ‘Energy Plan 2035’ provides for competitively priced hydrogen exports up to 7 mtpa by 2035 and 33 mtpa by 2050. In the field of green energy, he said Russia is interested in the production of renewable energies, which are focused on solar and wind energy, while it has developed a hydroelectric system. According to him, renewable energy potential in 2020 surpassed the conventional generation and was 1.2 GW.