Russian gas giant Gazprom to start producing clean hydrogen

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

Russia’s gas giant Gazprom will start producing “clean”, that is, zero-emission, hydrogen beginning in 2024 under a new government plan to develop a hydrogen economy.

The plan sees Gazprom building and beginning to test a methane-hydrogen-powered turbine next year, and until 2024 it will also study different applications of hydrogen as a fuel, both in things such as gas boilers and gas turbines, and as fuel for vehicles.

Gazprom will not be the only one involved in the hydrogen drive. Rosatom, the country’s nuclear power major, will start testing hydrogen as fuel for trains in 2024. Russia’s largest private gas company, Novatek, is also interested in taking part in the hydrogen initiatives.

The government plan that contains all these plans is a road map for a future in which hydrogen will feature more heavily in Russia’s export mix, in response to changing attitudes to oil and gas in many parts of the world that happen to be big energy markets.

With Russia vulnerable to such attitude changes, being one of the largest oil and gas exporters globally, it seems it was high time it joined the global hydrogen trend. For now, there are few details about the road map, which is being discussed in government.

In addition to the names of the first companies to start working in hydrogen projects, the roadmap recommends that the government comes up with a concept for the development of Russia’s hydrogen sector by the end of the year, along with incentives for pilot projects involving hydrogen.

Starting next year, the government must also come up with ways to incentivize exporters of hydrogen as well as buyers of the fuel on the domestic market, Russian media report.

Hydrogen is the up-and-coming fuel on the global energy market. As hydrogen production technologies develop making the process cheaper and cheaper, the Hydrogen Council expects that by 2050, hydrogen could come to account for some 18 percent of global energy consumption.

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