Decarbonizing Russia: leapfrogging from fossil fuel to hydrogen

  • 1 Russian Presidential Academy of the National Economy and Public Administration


We examine a different approach to complete decarbonization of the Russian economy, in a world where climate policy is increasingly requiring radical reduction of emissions wherever possible. We propose an energy system that can supply solar, and wind generated electricity to fulfill all demand and which accounts for intermittency problems. This is instead of a more usual approach of planning for expensive carbon capture and storage, and a massive increase in energy efficiency and therefore a drastic reduction in energy use per unit Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Coupled with this massive increase in alternative energy, we also propose using excess electricity to generate green hydrogen. Hydrogen is a known technology that can function as storage for future electricity needs or for potential fuel use. Importantly, green hydrogen can be used as a re-placement export for Russia’s current fossil fuel exports and will likely provide higher revenues. The analysis was carried out using the highly detailed modeling framework, the High-Resolution Renewable Energy System for Russia (HIRES-RUS) representative energy system. The modeling showed that there are a number of feasible combinations of wind and solar power generation coupled with green hydrogen production to achieve 100% decarbonization of the Russian economy.



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