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Energy in Russia

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Title: Energy in Russia  
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Subject: World energy consumption, Energy in Kazakhstan, Energy policy of China, Energy policy of Russia, Coal by country
Collection: Energy in Russia
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Energy in Russia

Energy in Russia describes energy and electricity production, consumption and export from Russia. Energy policy of Russia describes the energy policy in the politics of Russia more in detail. Electricity sector in Russia is the main article of electricity in Russia.

Primary energy use in 2009 in Russia was 7,524 TWh and 53 TWh per million persons.[1]



  • Overview 1
  • Primary energy sources 2
    • Natural gas 2.1
    • Oil 2.2
    • Coal 2.3
    • Hydropower 2.4
    • Non-conventional oil 2.5
      • Oil shale 2.5.1
      • Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil 2.5.2
    • Uranium 2.6
  • Power generation 3
    • Hydropower 3.1
    • Nuclear energy 3.2
    • Renewable energy 3.3
      • Geothermal energy 3.3.1
      • Peat 3.3.2
      • Solar energy 3.3.3
      • Wind energy 3.3.4
      • Tidal energy 3.3.5
  • Business persons 4
  • Climate change 5
    • Climate change emissions 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7


Energy in Russia[2]
Capita Prim. energy Production Export Electricity CO2-emission
Million TWh TWh TWh TWh Mt
2004 143.9 7,461 13,473 5,943 812 1,529
2007 141.6 7,817 14,312 6,331 898 1,587
2008 141.8 7,987 14,583 6,240 814 1,594
2009 141.9 7,524 13,742 6,148 870 1,533
2010 141.8 8,159 15,038 6,735 916 1,581
2012 141.9 8,501 15,292 6,650 927 1,653
Change 2004-10 -1.5 % 9.4 % 11.6 % 13.3 % 12.8 % 3.4 %
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh, Prim. energy includes energy losses that are 2/3 for nuclear power[3]

Primary energy sources

Russia is rich in energy resources. Russia has the largest known natural gas reserves of any state on earth, along with the second largest coal reserves, and the eighth largest oil reserves. This is 32% of world proven natural gas reserves (23% of the probable reserves), 12% of the proven oil reserves, 10% of the explored coal reserves (14% of the estimated reserves) and 8% of the proven uranium reserves.[4]

With recent acquisitions, Russia has gained assets in the Black Sea that may be worth trillions of dollars.[5]

Author Bill McKibben has estimated that to avoid "cratering" our civilisation due to climate change, up to $20tn worth of fossil fuel reserves will need to remain in the ground, essentially worthless. While the international community worked the global climate agreement in 2015 to hold warming to 2C in this century, an oil-drunk Russian autocracy is using more and more oil and gas before three-quarters of Russia’s natural capital becomes worthless. This strategy ignores the Polluter pays principle according to which the climate change costs are paid with the oil and gas profits.[6]

Natural gas

Major existing and planned natural gas pipelines supplying Russian gas to Europe.
Russian natural gas as a % of domestic consumption.
Major recipients of Russian natural gas exports in 2007.

Russia has identified the gas sector as being of key strategic importance. The share of natural gas as a primary energy source is remarkably high compared to the rest of world. Russia has the world biggest natural gas reserves, mainly owned and operated by the Russian monopoly Gazprom, which produces 94% of Russia's natural gas production. In global context Gazprom holds 25% of the world's known gas reserves and produces 16% of global output.[7] In 2011, Russia was the world's biggest natural gas producer with 677 billion cubic metres (23.9 trillion cubic feet) which accounted 20.0% of global natural gas production. It is also the biggest gas exporter with 196 billion cubic metres (6.9 trillion cubic feet).[8] The main export markets of Russian natural gas are the European Union and the CIS. Russia supplies a quarter of the EU gas consumption, mainly via transit trough Ukraine (Soyuz, Brotherhood) and Belarus (Yamal-Europe pipeline). The main importers are Germany (where links were developed as a result of Germany's Ostpolitik during the 1970s,[9] and also Ukraine, Belarus, Italy, Turkey, France and Hungary.


Russia is the largest oil producer in the non-OPEC countries, and second biggest in the world after Saudi Arabia,[10] which it overtakes as the world's number one from time to time.[11] In 2006, Russia contributed 12.1% of global oil production and 11.6% of global oil exports.[12] In June 2006, Russian crude oil and condensate production reached the post-Soviet maximum of 9.7 million barrels (1,540,000 m3) per day, exceeding production in 2000 by 3.2 Mbbl/d (510,000 m3/d). Russian export consists more than 5 Mbbl/d (790,000 m3/d) of oil and nearly 2 Mbbl/d (320,000 m3/d) of refined products, which go mainly to the European market. The domestic demand in 2005 was 2.6 Mbbl/d (410,000 m3/d) on average.[13] Russia is also the main transit country for oil from Kazakhstan.

The biggest Russian oil company is Rosneft followed by Lukoil, TNK-BP, Surgutneftegaz, Gazprom Neft and Tatneft.[14][15] All oil trunk pipelines (except the Caspian Pipeline Consortium) are owned and operated by the state-owned monopoly Transneft; oil products pipelines are owned and operated by its subsidiary Transnefteproduct. Currently, Transneft is constructing the Eastern Siberia – Pacific Ocean oil pipeline that would bring Russian oil to the Asian-Pacific markets (China, Japan, Korea).


Russia has the world’s second largest coal reserves, with 157 billion tonnes of reserves.

Russian coal reserves are widely dispersed. The principal hard coal deposits are located in the Pechora and Kuznetsk basins. The Kansk-Achinsk basin contains huge deposits of brown coal. The Siberian Lena and Tunguska basins constitute largely unexplored resources, the commercial exploitation of which would probably be difficult.[16]


Hydropower accounts for about 21% of Russia's total electric power production. Russia now has 102 hydropower plants in operation, with aggregate installed capacity of over 35 GW. Russia's RusHydro is the world's second-largest hydroelectric power producer.[17]

Non-conventional oil

Oil shale

Russia owns the biggest oil shale reserves in Europe equal to 35.47 billion tonnes of shale oil. More than 80 oil shale deposits have been identified. Main deposits are located in the Volga-Petchyorsk province and the Baltic Basin. Extraction of the deposits in the Volga-Petchyorsk province began in the 1930s, but was abandoned due to environmental problems. Main oil shale industry was concentrated on the Baltic Basin in Slantsy, but at the end of the 1990s the Slantsy oil shale processing plant and oil shale-fired power station were converted to use traditional hydrocarbons and mining activities ceased before 2005. In Syzran a small processing plant continues to operate.[18]

Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil

Small extra-heavy oil reserves have been identified in the Volga-Urals and North Caucasus-Mangyshlak basins. Large deposits of natural bitumen are located in Eastern Siberia in the Lena-Tunguska basin. Other bitumen deposits are located in the Timan-Pechora and Volga-Urals Basins, and in Tatarstan.[19] In September 2007, Tatneft and Royal Dutch Shell announced a strategic partnership to develop heavy crude oil production in Tatarstan, where Tatneft already has pilot production of bitumen.[20]


Uranium exploration and development activities have been largely concentrated on three east-of-Urals uranium districts (Transural, West Siberia and Vitim). The most important uranium producing area has been the Streltsovsky region near Krasnokamensk in the Chitinskaya Oblast. In 2005, the Russian Federation was the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium, accounting for 8.2% of global output.[21]

Power generation

Russia's electricity production by source in 2007

Russia is the world's fourth largest electricity producer after the USA, China, and Japan. In 2005, Russia produced 951 TWh and exported 23 TWh of electricity.[22] Roughly 63% of Russia's electricity is generated by thermal plants, 21% by hydropower and 16% comes from nuclear reactors.[23] Russia exports electricity to the CIS countries, Latvia, Lithuania, China, Poland, Turkey and Finland.


Gross theoretical potential of the Russian hydro resource base is 2,295 TWh per year, of which 852 TWh is regarded as economically feasible. Most of this potential is located in Siberia and the Far East.[24] Hydro generation (including pumped-storage output) in 2005 was 175 TWh, which represents 5.8% of world hydroelectricity generation. Russia ranks as the fifth largest hydroelectricity producer in the world.[25] At the end of 2005 installed hydroelectric generating capacity was 45.7 GW.[24]

Nuclear energy

In 2005 nuclear energy supply in Russia amounted to 149 TWh, which is 15.7% of total Russian electricity output and 5.4% of global nuclear energy production.[26] The total installed capacity of nuclear reactors is 21,244MW. There are plans to increase the number of commercial reactors from thirty one to fifty nine.

From 2001 all Russian civil reactors were operated by Energoatom. On 19 January 2007 Russian Parliament adopted legislation which created Atomenergoprom - a holding company for all Russian civil nuclear industry, including Energoatom, the nuclear fuel producer and supplier TVEL, the uranium trader Tekhsnabexport (Tenex) and nuclear facilities constructor Atomstroyexport.

Renewable energy

Non-hydroelectric renewable energy in Russia is largely undeveloped although Russia has many potential renewable energy resources.

Geothermal energy

Geothermal energy, which is used for heating and electricity production in some regions of the Northern Caucasus and the Far East, is the most developed renewable energy source in Russia.[23] Geothermal resources have been identified in the Northern Caucasus, Western Siberia, Lake Baikal, and in Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands. In 1966 a 4 MWe single-flash plant was commissioned at Pauzhetka (currently 11 MWe) followed by a 12 MWe geothermal power plant at Verkhne Mutnovsky, and 50 MWe Mutnovsky geothermal power plant. At the end of 2005 installed capacity for direct use amounted to more than 307 MWt.[27]


Principal peat deposits are located in the north-western parts of Russia, in West Siberia, near the western coast of Kamchatka and in several other far-eastern regions. The Siberian peatlands account for nearly 75% of Russia's total reserves of 186 billion tonnes, second only to Canada’s. Approximately 5% of exploitable peat (1.5 million tonnes per annum) is used for fuel production. Although peat was used as industrial fuel for power generation in Russia for a long period, its share has been in long-term decline, and since 1980 has amounted to less than 1%.[28]

Solar energy

It has been estimated that Russia's gross potential for solar energy is 2.3 trillion tce. The regions with the best solar radiation potential are the North Caucasus, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea areas, and southern parts of Siberia and the Far East. This potential is largely unused, although the possibilities for off-grid solar energy or hybrid applications in remote areas are huge. However, the construction of a single solar power plant Kislovodskaya SPP (1.5 MW) has been delayed.[29]

Wind energy

Russia has high quality wind resources on the Pacific and Arctic coasts and in vast steppe and mountain areas. Large-scale wind energy systems are suitable in Siberia and the Far East (east of Sakhalin Island, the south of Kamchatka, the Chukotka Peninsula, Vladivostok), the steppes along the Volga river, the northern Caucasus steppes and mountains and on the Kola Peninsula, where power infrastructure and major industrial consumers are in place. At the end of 2006, total installed wind capacity was 15 MW. Major wind power stations operate at Kalmytskaya (2 MW), Zapolyarnaya (1.5 MW), Kulikovskaya (5.1 MW), Tyupkildi (2.2 MW) and Observation Cape (2.5 MW). Feasibility studies are being carried out on the Kaliningradskaya (50 MW) and the Leningradskaya (75 MW) wind farms. There are about 100 MW of wind projects in Kalmykia and in Krasnodar Krai.[30]

Tidal energy

A small pilot tidal power plant with a capacity of 400 kW was constructed at Kislaya Guba near Murmansk in 1968. In 2007, Gidro OGK, a subsidiary of the Unified Energy System (UES) began the installation of a 1.5 MW experimental orthogonal turbine at Kislaya Guba. If it proves successful, UES plans to continue with Mezen Bay (15,000 MW) and Tugur Bay (7,980 MW) projects.[31]

Business persons

Russian billionaires in energy by Forbes in 2013 included No 41 Mikhail Fridman ($16.5 B), No 47 Leonid Mikhelson ($15.4 B), 52 Viktor Vekselberg ($15.1 B), 55 Vagit Alekperov ($14.8 B), 56 Andrey Melnichenko ($14.4 B), 62 Gennady Timchenko ($14.1 B), 103 German Khan ($10.5 B), 138 Alexei Kuzmichev ($8.2 B), 162 Leonid Fedun ($7.1 B), 225 Pyotr Aven ($5.4 B), 423 Vladimir Bogdanov ($3.2 B), 458 Mikhail Gutseriev ($3 B), 641 Alexander Dzhaparidze ($2.3 B), 792 Igor Makarov ($1.9 B), 882 Anatoly Skurov ($1.7 B), 974 Vladimir Gridin & family ($1.5 B), 974 Andrei Kosogov ($1.5 B), 1031Farkhad Akhmedov ($1.4 B), 1088 Alexander Putilov ($1.35 B), 1161 Mikhail Abyzov ($1.25 B) and 1175 Konstantin Grigorishin ($1.2 B).[32]

Climate change

Climate change emissions

According to data from the US Energy Information Administration Russia was the fourth top emitter by “”fossil fuels CO2 in 2009”” 1) China: 7,710 million tonnes (mt) (25.4%) ahead of 2) US: 5,420 mt (17.8%), 3) India: 1,600 mt (5.3%), ””4) Russia: 1,570 mt (5.2%)”” and 5) Japan: 1,100 mt (3.6%).[33]

In the “”cumulative emissions between 1850 and 2007”” Russia was third top emitter following: 1. US: 339,200 mt (28.8%) 2. China: 105,900 mt (9.0%), ””3. Russia: 94,700 mt (8.0%)””, 4. Germany: 81,200 mt (6.9%), 5. UK: 68,800 mt (5.8%), 6. Japan: 45,600 mt (3.87%), 7. France: 32,700 mt (2.77%), 8. India: 28,800 mt (2.44%), 9. Canada: 25,7100 MT (2.2%) and 10. Ukraine: 25,400 mt (2.2%).[33]

Among the top emitter of all greenhouse gas emissions in 2005 including building and deforestation Russia was the fifth: 1. China: 7,220 mt (16.4%), 2. US: 6,930 mt (15.7%), 3. Brazil: 2,860 mt (6.5%), 4. Indonesia: 2,050 mt (4.6%), 5. Russia: 2,030 mt (4.6%), 6. India: 1,870 mt (4.2%), 7. Japan: 1,390 mt (3.1%), 8. Germany: 1,010 mt (2.3%), 9. Canada: 810 mt (1.8%), and 10. Mexico: 700 mt (1.6%).[33]

See also


  1. ^ IEA Key energy statistics 2011 Page: Country specific indicator numbers from page 48
  2. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  3. ^ Energy in Sweden 2010, Facts and figures, The Swedish Energy Agency, Table 8 Losses in nuclear power stations Table 9 Nuclear power brutto
  4. ^ "Country Analysis Brief. Russia". Energy Information Administration. April 2007. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  5. ^ In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains a Sea of Fuel Reserves
  6. ^ EU energy strategy must counter Putin's fossil fuel-fed autocracy The role of climate and energy policy in the 'long game' that will play out between Russia and the west has been overlooked, The Guardian 7 April 2014
  7. ^ "EU-Russia Energy Dialogue". 2005-11-28. Retrieved 2007-01-12. 
  8. ^ Key world statistics 2012 IEA
  9. ^ Dieter Helm (2006-12-12). "Russia, Germany and European energy policy". Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  10. ^ Goichi Komori, Sanae Kurita, Keishi Nakashima (December 2005). "The Russian Oil Policies and Its Oil Industry Trends" (PDF). The Institute of Energy Economics, Japan. Retrieved 2008-03-03. 
  11. ^ Schofield, James (2002-06-24). "Russia's oil renaissance". BBC News. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  12. ^ IEA (2007), p.11
  13. ^ Woodruff, Yulia (2006). "Russian oil industry between state and market". Fundamentals of the global oil and gas industry, 2006.  
  14. ^ LUKoil to lose the lead soon. Rosneft will become Russia’s leading oil producer in 2007, Analytical department of RIA RosBusinessConsulting
  15. ^ Yenikeyeff, Shamil, "BP, Russian billionaires, and the Kremlin: a Power Triangle that never was", Oxford Energy Comment, November 23, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  16. ^ WEC (2007), p.34-35
  17. ^ [1] RusHydro
  18. ^ WEC (2007), p.114-115
  19. ^ WEC (2007), p.140
  20. ^ "Tatneft and Shell to develop strategic partnership. Press release".  
  21. ^ WEC (2007), p.229
  22. ^ IEA (2007), p.27
  23. ^ a b Russia: Energy overview, by BBC News 13 February 2006
  24. ^ a b WEC (2007), p. 308
  25. ^ IEA (2007), p. 19
  26. ^ IEA (2007), p. 17
  27. ^ WEC (2007), pp. 470-471
  28. ^ WEC (2007), p. 331
  29. ^ WEC (2007), p.420
  30. ^ WEC (2007), pp. 515-516
  31. ^ WEC (2007), pp.538-539
  32. ^ Billioners Energy Russia 2013
  33. ^ a b c Which nations are most responsible for climate change? Guardian 21 April 2011
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