In an interview on Soloviev LIVE TV social media channel, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak stated that firewood and coal will continue to be used for heating homes for many decades to come, although their share in energy provision will decline. Novak, a former energy minister, also predicted that hydropower will remain in the energy environment in the next half century.
Novak acknowledged that there will still be an insignificant share of traditional hydrocarbon energy sources, including coal and firewood, along with oil and gas. However, he emphasized that their shares will decrease over time.
The Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that the EU is currently returning to coal-fired power generation due to what he described as “ineffective and unreasonable decisions” to abandon Russian gas. He argued that Russian gas is highly environmentally friendly, cheap, and reliable.
According to Novak, the introduction of new energy capacities based on solar and wind generation will increase in the coming years. This suggests that Russia is also focusing on renewable energy sources to diversify its energy mix.
It is worth noting that last year, Novak announced that Moscow was rerouting the supply of more than 25 million tons of Russian coal from the EU to Asia due to Western sanctions imposed on Russia. As a result, China has become one of the main buyers of Russian coal after the EU completely stopped purchasing the commodity. The European Commission estimated that the embargo would affect a quarter of all Russian coal exports, worth over $8 billion annually. Russia shipped over seven million tons of coal to China last year.
In May, the Siberian Coal Energy Company, Russia’s largest coal supplier, revealed plans for a threefold increase in supplies to China. The company expects to deliver up to 20 million tons of coal to China this year.
The statements made by Novak shed light on Russia’s energy strategy for the coming decades. While traditional energy sources like firewood and coal will still have a role, the country is also recognizing the importance of diversifying its energy mix by incorporating renewables like solar and wind power. Furthermore, the shift in coal exports from the EU to Asia indicates Russia’s ability to adapt to changing market dynamics and find new buyers for its resources.
It remains to be seen how the global energy landscape will evolve in the next 50 years, but Novak’s remarks suggest that Russia is preparing to embrace a mix of traditional and renewable energy sources to meet its energy needs while also remaining competitive in the international market.