As governments and businesses (including many oil and gas majors) around the world turn their increasingly acute attention to energy transition, the potential commercialization of the use of hydrogen technologies could play a key role in the global clean energy agenda. Recently, Russia has produced its own hydrogen roadmap. The roadmap is rather short term, covering the years 2021–2024, and is meant to be an initial step for Russian government, businesses, and institutions to better understand the potential of hydrogen opportunities and to encourage the implementation of hydrogen pilot projects.
In contrast to many other countries where hydrogen initiatives aim to provide energy security and independence from other sources, Russia's interest in hydrogen seems to be primarily driven by changes in the global energy market, as it does not want to lose its leading role as a major global energy exporter.
The roadmap is approved by Government Directive No. 2634-r dated 12 October 2020 (see a detailed timeline of the roadmap in English). The roadmap envisages various steps to promote hydrogen generation and use that are to be undertaken between 2021 and 2024 by the relevant ministries (mainly, the Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Economic Development, in addition to a few others) and organizations such as Rosatom State Corporation, Gazprom, St-Petersburg Mining University, etc.
Among the milestones set out in the roadmap are the establishment of a regulatory framework for hydrogen project promotion, including
It should be noted that at the moment, Russia, like many other countries, does not have comprehensive regulations for hydrogen development and use, nor are there any focused legal or fiscal incentives currently available. The roadmap sets forth a framework for the development of these regulations.
The roadmap envisions that various Russian authorities will work to develop concepts for hydrogen opportunities, analyze existing regulations and develop new ones, and help implement a number of pilot hydrogen projects. The roadmap is Russia’s first significant step in understanding what role it can have in the global hydrogen landscape; we expect more clarity as Russia begins to implement the roadmap.