Russia is stepping up its hydrogen ambitions with the release of a draft concept for the development of the industry in the country, as it looks to become one of the largest exporters of the fuel to Europe and the Asia Pacific.

In a statement this week, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the draft concept defined the goals, strategic initiatives and key measures to launch Russia’s hydrogen industry.

“Hydrogen energy will reduce the risks of losing energy markets and support economic growth through development of new production facilities, as well as the creation of high-tech jobs, and the export of products and technologies,” he said.

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The draft policy sees Russia’s hydrogen industry being built up over several stages between now and 2050.

Stage one

The first stage will take place over the next 3.5 years and involve the creation of specialised clusters and the implementation of pilot projects for the production and export of hydrogen, as well as the use of hydrogen in the domestic market.

The pilot projects under this initial stage will likely focus on the production of blue hydrogen, utilising Russia’s vast gas resources combined with carbon capture and storage technology.

The draft concept also lists potential pilot projects in the first phase utilising electrolysis powered by various types of “low-carbon” generation.

Russia will look to develop at least three hydrogen clusters as part of the development of the industry, including a cluster in the north-west of the country focused on exports to countries within the European Union, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the manufacturing of other export products.

An eastern cluster will focus on exports to Asia and the development of hydrogen infrastructure for transport and energy.

A third cluster, dubbed the Arctic cluster, will focus on the creation of low-carbon power supply systems for territories in Russia’s Arctic zone.

Subsequent phases

The second phase of Russia's hydrogen development plans will take place between 2025 and 2035 and envisages the launch of Russia’s first commercial-scale hydrogen projects, targeting the export of up to 2 million tonnes per annum of hydrogen.

The second stage will also focus on the widespread adoption of hydrogen technologies in various sectors of the Russian economy, from petrochemistry to housing and utilities.

The third stage of Russia’s hydrogen plan could see its hydrogen exports grow to as much as 15 million tpa by 2050.

During the third stage it will also target becoming one of the largest suppliers of hydrogen to countries in the Asia Pacific and the European Union.

It is also during the third stage, which is expected to commence in 2036, that Russia anticipates the widespread commercial application of hydrogen technologies in the fields of transport, energy and industry.