Energy in Russia

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2nd Magistralnaya Street powerplants in Moscow
Map of 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.

Energy consumption across Russia in 2020 was 7,863 TWh.[1] Russia is the fourth highest greenhouse emitter in the world. As of September 2019, Russia adopted the Paris Agreement [2] In 2020, CO2 emissions per Capita were 11.2 tCO2.[3]


Energy in Russia [4]
Prim. energy
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
2012R 143.5 8,799 15,487 6,570 948 1,659
2013 143.0 8,500 15,587 6,896 938 1,543
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[5]

2012R = calculation criteria changed, numbers updated

Energy sources[edit]

Russia electricity production by year

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.[6]

With recent acquisitions, Russia has gained assets in the Black Sea that may be worth trillions of dollars.[7]

Natural gas[edit]

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
Countries by natural gas proven reserves (2014), based on data from The World Factbook. Russia has the world's largest reserves.

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.[8] 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).[9] 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 through 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,[10] and also Ukraine, Belarus, Italy, Turkey, France and Hungary.


Conventional oil[edit]

Russia is the largest oil producer in the non-OPEC countries, and second biggest in the world after Saudi Arabia,[11] which it overtakes as the world's number one from time to time.[12] In 2006, Russia contributed 12.1% of global oil production and 11.6% of global oil exports.[13] 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.[14] 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.[15][16] 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).

Oil shale[edit]

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.[17]

Natural bitumen and extra-heavy oil[edit]

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.[18] 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.[19]


Global coal reserves in BTUs at end 2009

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 are largely unexplored resources, which would probably be difficult to exploit commercially.[20]


Hydropower accounts for about 20% of Russia's total electric power production. The country has 102 hydropower plants in operation, with RusHydro the world's second-largest hydroelectric power producer.[21]

Hydro generation (including pumped-storage output) in 2020 was 196 TWh, which represents 4.4% of world hydroelectricity generation. In 2020 installed hydroelectric generating capacity was 49.9 GW, making Russia the seventh largest hydroelectricity producer in the world.[22]

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.[23]

Nuclear power[edit]

Nuclear power produced 216 TWh of electricity in 2020, representing 20% of Russian electricity production and 11.8% of global nuclear power production.[24] There are thirty-eight nuclear reactors in operation across Russia producing 29.4 GW of electricity. Four new reactors are under construction, with a further thirty-four in various stages of planning.

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.

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 Chita Oblast. In 2019, Russia was the world's seventh largest producer of uranium, accounting for 4.7% of global output.[25]

Renewable energy[edit]

Low prices for energy and in particular subsidies for natural gas hinder renewable energy development in Russia.[26] Russia lags behind other countries in creating a conducive framework for renewable energy development.[27] Non-hydroelectric renewable energy in Russia is largely undeveloped although Russia has many potential renewable energy resources.

Geothermal energy[edit]

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 after hydroelectric energy.[28] 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.[29]


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%.[30]

Solar energy[edit]

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.[31]

Wind energy[edit]

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.[32]

Tidal energy[edit]

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.[33]

Electricity sector[edit]

Russia is the world's fourth largest electricity producer after China, the United States, and India. In 2020, Russia produced 1,085 TWh[34] and exported 20 TWh of electricity.[35]

Roughly 60% of Russia's electricity is generated by fossil fuels, 20% by hydroelectricity, 20% by nuclear reactors.[34] Renewable energy generation is minimal.

Russia exports electricity to the CIS countries, Latvia, Lithuania, China, Poland, Turkey and Finland.


Russian billionaires in energy by Forbes in 2013 included No 41 Mikhail Fridman ($16.5 B), No 47 Leonid Michelson ($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 Kuzmichov ($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 and 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).[36]

Climate change[edit]

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) United States: 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%).[37]

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%).[37]

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. United States: 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%).[37]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2021" (PDF). Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  2. ^ Sauer, Natalie (24 September 2019). "Russia formally joins Paris climate pact". Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Russia Energy Information | Enerdata". Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  4. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2015, 2014 (2012R as in November 2015 + 2012 as in March 2014 is comparable to previous years statistical calculation criteria, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 Archived 7 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 2006 Archived 12 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  5. ^ Energy in Sweden 2010 Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Facts and figures, The Swedish Energy Agency, Table 8 Losses in nuclear power stations Table 9 Nuclear power brutto
  6. ^ "Country Analysis Brief. Russia". Energy Information Administration. April 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2008. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ In Taking Crimea, Putin Gains a Sea of Fuel Reserves
  8. ^ "EU-Russia Energy Dialogue". 28 November 2005. Retrieved 12 January 2007.
  9. ^ Key world statistics 2012 IEA
  10. ^ Dieter Helm (12 December 2006). "Russia, Germany and European energy policy". Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2008.
  11. ^ 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 3 March 2008. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  12. ^ Schofield, James (24 June 2002). "Russia's oil renaissance". BBC News. Retrieved 19 May 2007.
  13. ^ IEA (2007), p.11
  14. ^ Woodruff, Yulia (2006). "Russian oil industry between state and market". Fundamentals of the global oil and gas industry, 2006. Petroleum Economist. ISBN 978-1-86186-266-2.
  15. ^ LUKoil to lose the lead soon. Rosneft will become Russia’s leading oil producer in 2007, Analytical department of RIA RosBusinessConsulting
  16. ^ Yenikeyeff, Shamil, "BP, Russian billionaires, and the Kremlin: a Power Triangle that never was", Oxford Energy Comment, 23 November 2011. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
  17. ^ WEC (2007), p.114-115
  18. ^ WEC (2007), p.140
  19. ^ "Tatneft and Shell to develop strategic partnership. Press release". Royal Dutch Shell. 27 September 2007. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 13 January 2008.
  20. ^ WEC (2007), p.34-35
  21. ^ [1] RusHydro
  22. ^ "Status Report". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  23. ^ WEC (2007), p. 308
  24. ^ "Росатом Госкорпорация «Росатом» ядерные технологии атомная энергетика АЭС ядерная медицина". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  25. ^ "World Uranium Mining - World Nuclear Association". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  26. ^ Overland, Indra; Kjaernet, Heidi (2009). Russian renewable energy: The potential for international cooperation. Ashgate.CS1 maint: location (link)
  27. ^ Overland, Indra (2010). "The Siberian Curse: A Blessing in Disguise for Renewable Energy?". Sibirica Journal of Siberian Studies. 9: 1–20.
  28. ^ Russia: Energy overview, by BBC News 13 February 2006
  29. ^ WEC (2007), pp. 470-471
  30. ^ WEC (2007), p. 331
  31. ^ WEC (2007), p.420
  32. ^ WEC (2007), pp. 515-516
  33. ^ WEC (2007), pp.538-539
  34. ^ a b "Russia's energy market in 2020" (PDF). Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  35. ^ "Russia Electricity exports - data, chart". Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  36. ^ Billionaires Energy Russia 2013
  37. ^ a b c Which nations are most responsible for climate change? Guardian 21 April 2011