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Russia's energy strategy up to 2030

Expert comment: On August 27, 2009, the government of the Russian Federation approved the Energy Strategy for the period up to 2030 (the Strategy). 

The tempo of post-crisis economic recovery has been set as the point of departure for the Strategy’s two scenarios. The first scenario envisages a quickly recovering national economy with the consequences of the downturn tackled before 2015; the second scenario envisions a slower pace of overcoming the upshots of the crisis, with full recovery expected by 2020/2022.   


By Elena Shadrina, visiting researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Defence Studies (15 October 2009).

The Strategy outlines three phases for the process of the national fuel energy complex (FEC) transformation. In order to make the FEC an additional engine for the domestic economy post-crisis recovery, the document sees its substantial overhaul during the first stage (2013-2015). In the second phase (2016-2020/2022), an array of cutting-edge, highly efficient innovations and technologies are to be introduced; greenfields are to become operational and significantly expand the sector’s production and export capacity. In the period of 2021/2023-2030, considerably improved energy efficiency coupled with enhanced use of non-fuel energy sources (nuclear, solar, wind, etc.) are expected to boost Russia’s robust economic dynamism.

The Strategy sets up an array of aims across four major dimensions: energy security; energy efficiency of domestic economy; economic efficiency of FEC; and ecological security of FEC.

With regard to the Arctic region, the relevant issues are addressed in the Strategy’s Chapters 4, 5, and 6. Speaking of the policy tools, the Chapter 4 “State’s Energy Policy”, for one, puts forward larger allocations for geological exploration, introduction of flexible taxation and more favourable investment regime for resources development, enhancement of innovations and technologies, governmental support for development of the regional energy infrastructure, improvement in the system of professional education, etc. Nevertheless, the Section 4.8 entitled “External energy policy” has no special clauses on the Arctic policy.

Major developments in the Arctic are envisioned during the second stage of the Strategy implementation. Such timeframe corresponds with that set by the “Principles of State Policy in the Arctic up to 2020 and beyond” (the Principles) adopted on September 18, 2008. Nonetheless, while the Principles specifically underscores that “Resources of the Arctic zone are to be used as the Russian Federation’s strategic resource base enabling the country’s social economic development” (clause 4.a Chapter II “National Interests of the Russian Federation in Arctic”), the Strategy does not have the same explicit focus on the Arctic resources’ strategic importance (refer to Chapter 5 “Perspectives and Strategic Initiatives for the Fuel Energy Complex Development”).

In terms of priorities, there is a certain degree of the content inconsistency between these two documents. For instance, the Strategy saliently prioritises geographical diversification of production and export of energy resources with more active role played by Russia’s eastern regions, in particular by Eastern Siberia and the Far East. Consequently, an increase in the eastern dimension is to be compensated by a corresponding decline in the share of the western part of the country. Indeed, by 2030, Europe-centred (i.e. beyond the CIS) gas exports will sag from a current approximately 70 percent to a mere 20 percent.

Reflecting the shifts in production and export, the Strategy lists the top priority energy transport infrastructure projects as follows: the East Siberia Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline; Baltic Pipeline System-II; Burgas – Alexandroupolis oil pipeline; Nord Stream; South Stream; and the Caspian gas pipeline.
 The Strategy seems thus not to reflect adequately the prominence of the Arctic region declared by the Russian government in previous key policy documents. The content of the document was presented in detail by Minister of Energy S. Shmatko on August 27. 

Minister of Energy S. Shmatko's presentation (in Russian)
Ministry of Energy's press release (in Russian)
Draft of the Energy Strategy of the Russian Federation up to 2030 (in Russian)

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