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Country profile: Russia's energy sector

Country profile: Russia's energy sector

Russia is a major producer of crude oil and natural gas and many European countries rely on its exports. The economic growth of the country is driven by energy exports with oil and natural gas accounting for 43 percent of the federal revenues in 2015.

Russia’s primary energy consumption

  • Natural gas – 53%
  • Petroleum – 22%
  • Coal – 14%
  • Nuclear, renewables and others – 11%

Russia’s energy exports

Energy accounts for 68 percent of Russia’s total exports. This is broken down as follows:

  • Crude oil – 33%
  • Petroleum – 21%
  • Natural gas – 14%

Russia and Europe are interdependent in terms of energy. Europe is dependent on Russia as a source of both oil and natural gas, with almost 30% of European Union crude imports and more than 30% of natural gas imports coming from Russia in 2015. Russia is dependent on Europe as a market for its oil and natural gas and the revenues those exports generate. In 2015, almost 60% of Russia’s crude exports and more than 75% of Russia’s natural gas exports went to Europe.

Nuclear

Russia is the third-largest generator of nuclear power in the world and has the fifth-largest installed nuclear capacity. With seven nuclear reactors currently under construction, Russia is second only to China, in terms of number of reactors under construction.

Renewables

Wind power amounts to about 60 percent of Russia’s renewable energy production, while solar, geothermal, biomass and hydropower make up the remaining 40 percent. The total installed capacity of renewable energy in the system today is about 550 gigawatts.

A recent study carried out by Finnish scientists suggests that a fully renewable system in Russia and central Asia is achievable by 2030. Despite Russia’s fossil-fuel-rich lands, a completely renewable energy system for the region would be half the cost of a system based on carbon capture and storage or even on the latest European nuclear technology, the Finns calculate.

On 18 December 2015, the results of a selection of investment projects for the construction of generating facilities using renewable energy sources for the years 2016 – 2019 was announced.

The government has authorized eight solar projects with a combined capacity of 95 MW by Avelar Solar Technologies, a unit of Hevel Solar. Also, Solar Systems and T Plus won contracts for 50 MW and 135 MW, respectively.

At the same time, Fortum OAO was awarded a 35-MW wind project in Russia’s Ulyanovsk Oblast. In addition, the government approved two 24.9 MW hydropower projects.

According to a recent report by GlobalData, Russia’s cumulative installed non-hydro renewable power capacity is expected to grow to 2.87 GW by 2025, with the country realising just a small portion of its potential.

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