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Russia accelerates hydrogen strategy

Russia accelerates hydrogen strategy

Russia is stepping up efforts to position itself as a clean hydrogen exporter and developing plans to deploy the fuel in its public transport system. The government is planning a programme of technical development and pilot projects over the next two years, with a focus on production for export. 

“Nine domestic technologies and six equipment samples will be developed for the hydrogen energy industry by 2024,” says deputy prime minister Alexander Novak.

“A testing field will be created to probe hydrogen energy equipment and [we] plan to begin implementing a number of hydrogen-exporting projects, including projects to produce hydrogen in the Kola peninsula and Sakhalin,” he adds.

Moscow last year approved a hydrogen strategy to 2050, with a goal of capturing up to 20pc of the international hydrogen market and an export target of up to 50mn t/yr.

“We plan to begin implementing a number of hydrogen-exporting projects” Novak, Russian deputy prime minister

The government is also working on plans to expand the use of hydrogen in the mobility sector, with a target to convert at least 10pc of urban and intercity public transport to the fuel by 2030. The government is expected to issue a formal update on the proposals by the end of February or in early March, the energy ministry tells Hydrogen Economist.

Public transport is the government’s main focus because private car owners are reluctant to switch away from existing models, says Kirill Rodionov, an expert at Russian thinktank the Fuels and Energy Technology Development Institute. Uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) has been sluggish, with only about 1,000 EVs sold last year in Russia, Rodionov tells Hydrogen Economist.

But uptake in the public transport sector is faster, with 5.5pc of all buses in Moscow being EVs in 2020. “The scale of hydrogen bus deployment would depend on the readiness of regional authorities to invest in purchases [of such vehicles] and the development of supporting infrastructure,” Rodionov says.

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