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Meeting on implementation process and results of socioeconomic development initiatives up to 2030

RUSSIA, February 11 - The agenda includes: the implementation of initiatives in the spheres of energy and new technologies.

Excerpts from the transcript:

Meeting on implementation process and results of socioeconomic development initiatives up to 2030

Mikhail Mishustin: Colleagues, good afternoon.

We continue discussing the implementation of socioeconomic development strategic initiatives for the period to 2030. Today we will listen to reports presented by my deputies, Alexander Novak and Yury Borisov.

Let us begin with the energy sector. As the President has noted many times, here Russia can offer truly unique opportunities, with effectiveness that is several times higher than that of our partners, while the carbon footprint is significantly lower.

We will talk about two initiatives: the New Nuclear Energy and Clean Energy, including hydrogen and renewable energy sources. Both areas are supervised by Alexander Novak.

We have repeatedly discussed issues related to the transition to the new energy; for example, last autumn we held a strategic session on the prospects of using hydrogen for this purpose. It is well-known that Russia is the world’s leader in nuclear energy. Active work is underway to develop renewable energy sources, including wind and the sun.

We will have to preserve and considerably increase our competitive advantages while taking into account climate challenges and global warming processes. After all, dozens of countries have already announced plans to move towards carbon neutrality. The President has also set a goal to achieve this objective by 2060.

Work to achieve this goal will make it possible to ensure people’s access to clean and reliable energy sources, increase the level of environmental security in Russia, and help upgrade manufacturing and create new high-tech jobs.

Large sums have been envisaged to implement these plans. State support will be provided for the development of hydrogen energy. For this, the three-year federal budget has earmarked about 9 billion roubles.

We plan to allocate another 40 billion roubles approximately for projects within the initiative to create a new nuclear energy. It is envisaged that about 56 billion roubles will be additionally allocated from the National Wealth Fund for these purposes.

We hope that this will enable Russia to step up its presence on the global energy market. The production of equipment for solar and wind generation has already been localised. It is also necessary to create new branches of power engineering, including the production of equipment to produce hydrogen. The creation of such industrial capacities is necessary to increase the production of environmentally and climate neutral products.

Mr Novak, please elaborate on the work in this area. Please, you have the floor.

Alexander Novak: Mr Mishustin,

We are implementing two energy initiatives called Clean Energy and New Nuclear Energy under the strategic initiatives that you approved and that promote the country’s socio-economic development.

Why are they so important? The global decarbonisation agenda means transforming the energy industry in almost every country. Efforts to slow global warming are playing a more important role. Over 100 countries have already stated their intention to become carbon-neutral. Russia has announced its intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Many Russian regions face environmental challenges, but developing advanced low-carbon energy production facilities will help resolve these problems and improve peoples’ quality of life. At the same time, I would like to note that, in working to create an environmentally friendly power industry, we need to make the power grid more reliable, affordable and safer. These are key conditions in converting our energy production. Our initiatives deal directly with these matters.

I will start with the Clean Energy initiative designed to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the national power balance, to create a national system for selling credit certificates on the origin of environmentally friendly electric power, and also to develop hydrogen energy technology.

This initiative is already being implemented. Solar power stations and windmills with a rated capacity of 1,400 megawatts were commissioned in 2021. This expanded the rated capacity of renewable energy sources by 50 percent over 2020 levels. At the same time, solar power stations and windmills generated 75 percent more power.

We are planning to commission power-generating facilities with a capacity of over 4,000 megawatts by 2024, and renewable energy sources will generate five times more power by 2030.

In 2021, a bill on credit certificates proving the origin of environmentally friendly electric power was also drafted. We are planning to pass it this year; it will create a system for selling credits by 2023 and will confirm the origin of environmentally friendly electricity that is generated by renewable energy sources. The annual capacity should be at least 400 billion kilowatt/hours. Industry exporters see this as a very significant effort.

Regarding hydrogen energy, a concept for its development was approved in 2021. We also established an interdepartmental working group and a technical committee at the Federal Agency for Technical Standards and Measurements (Rosstandart) to oversee this effort. Companies are already working on some major projects.

By 2024, we will have developed nine technologies domestically, six types of equipment for production and for the hydrogen energy sector. A test site for this equipment will also be created, and we will start a number of hydrogen exporting projects, including hydrogen production projects on the Kola Peninsula and on Sakhalin Island.

We plan to claim a 20 percent share of the global hydrogen market by 2030.

The Clean Energy programme will help achieve such national goals as people-friendly and safe living conditions by facilitating environmentally friendlier power generation, ensuring worthy and cost-effective work and successful business operations by providing opportunities for self-realisation and using peoples’ talents with new jobs and new areas in the power industry.

And now, a few words about the New Nuclear Energy programme which is already being implemented. This includes projects for building low-capacity nuclear power stations, the creation of a technological platform for a waste-free power industry with a closed-loop fuel cycle, the development of the atomic technologies market and the creation of new nuclear fuel.

This initiative will allow Russia to retain its leading global position in nuclear power technologies and in mitigating climate change. It will also help boost high-tech exports by introducing new products and increase the percent of low-carbon power generation in the country’s energy balance. Moreover, we will be able to power remote Russian regions more efficiently.

Last year, we began construction of a fast-neutron reactor, as well as the world’s first plant to manufacture new-generation fuel, under this initiative. We have completed feasibility studies that substantiate the cost-effective investment in low-capacity ground-based nuclear power stations. We took an important step in promoting nuclear energy as an environmentally friendly alternative. The EU has created criteria for including the nuclear power industry among green energy sources.

Construction of the RITM-200 small nuclear reactor is to start by 2024. We will also start building small sea-based reactors for the Chukotka Autonomous Area. The world’s first plant to manufacture new-generation nuclear fuel will also be completed.

By 2030, we plan to claim a 20 percent share of the global market for small-capacity nuclear power plants and a 24 percent share of the nuclear fuel market.

Mr Mishustin, in conclusion I would like to repeat that energy is an important area for achieving our goal on carbon neutrality in Russia by 2060, as set by the President. We plan to significantly change the energy balance in Russia in favour of cleaner energy sources as part of the current initiatives, as well as to develop new export-oriented competitive technologies, considering the energy transition and the implementation of the climate agenda. With this, we will be able to provide people with clean and reliable energy sources and ensure they have a comfortable and safe environment to live in. The development of the energy and fuel complex will also help create new jobs. Businesses will launch new manufacturing facilities. Greater opportunities will be available for our people for self-realisation and development of aptitudes.

Mikhail Mishustin: Thank you, Mr Novak.

We expect that the implementation of these projects will go as scheduled. Let me point out that some work to implement the principles of carbon neutrality in related industries is underway, including as part of the strategic initiative on the low-carbon development policy, which is supervised by Viktoria Abramchenko. We recently discussed these issues at a strategic session. Please, coordinate your work in these areas, with consideration for the President’s instructions to improve energy efficiency.

Let’s go over to the issues overseen by Yury Borisov, important sectors that build the foundation of Russia’s technological sovereignty.

One is related to creating new materials with unique properties. These are necessary to produce new medicines, electronics, spacecraft, aircraft, and ships. The most prominent example is the MC-21 aircraft that includes domestic composite materials that comply with the world’s highest standards, and which were developed as quickly as possible.

Another initiative is aimed at high-tech import substitution in the area of liquefied natural gas production. Increasing production volumes is a priority goal set by the President.

Mr Borisov, please tell us what has been done over the last few months in this area and what goals will be met in the near future.

Yury Borisov: Mr Mishustin,

I will start with the block of issues related to the Development of New Materials Production.

When we defended this topic, we focused on two crucial components – low- and medium-tonnage chemistry and creating the infrastructure of the Composite Valley Innovative Scientific and Technological Centre.

Why low- and medium-tonnage chemistry? First of all, this is the most vulnerable branch of the chemical industry in terms of ensuring independence from imports. As regards some products of low- and medium-tonnage chemistry, we have an acute import dependence. And for individual products, we do not have Russian production at all. Meanwhile, the main consumers of these products have repeatedly stated their need for domestic products in the industry.

Let me emphasise that the successful implementation of the initiative will primarily ensure national security by reducing import dependence. The technological sovereignty of any country is based on materials. We will expand the range of Russian-made low- and medium-tonnage chemical products, which, as you noted, will have a significant multiplier effect on the development of related industries.

Now as regards our efforts, results and the funding of this initiative. To implement it, we took the path of drafting a list of so-called pull-up projects. The list was approved in 2021 and includes 73 projects with a potential investment of 498 billion roubles and more than 3,900 new jobs.

These projects have been announced for implementation in 11 regions by 22 companies. We have a very obvious pool of participants consisting of business representatives with the necessary industry competencies. It includes not only large chemical companies, such as Sibur Holding and the Titan group of companies, but also medium and even small manufacturers, as well as the Mendeleev Engineering Centre.

Today we have a clear understanding of the support measures that should be used to develop these areas. These are proven tools.

The Industry Development Fund demonstrated good capacities. In 2021, 1.6 billion roubles worth of concessional loans were allocated to support small chemistry projects. Subsidising R&D costs is no less effective. In 2021, projects worth 0.5 billion roubles were supported through this mechanism.

To be continued