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Russia has chance to take over European hydrogen market — special envoy

According to Anatoly Chubais, Russia’s share of the European hydrogen market could amount to $20-30 bln

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. Russia will be able to occupy the developing European hydrogen market, if it creates an efficient hydrogen industry, special envoy of the Russian President for relations with international organizations on achievement of sustainable development goals Anatoly Chubais said on Monday.

He was speaking at the workshop "Mechanisms of state carbon regulation: possible consequences for the Russian economy."

According to Chubais, Russia’s share of the European hydrogen market could amount to $20-30 bln.

"The European Hydrogen Strategy <...> contains the important figure of 10 million tonnes. That is the European hydrogen market in 2030. Europe will have to cover about half of this market by imports. Russia has unprecedented chances to take over the huge European hydrogen market if everything goes right in the country," Chubais said.

He recalled that, according to experts, the existing pipeline system makes it possible to export 10 to 20% of hydrogen in a mixture. An upgrade of the pipeline system is not required for this.

"This is a new industry that can be definitely created for export, let alone the domestic market. <...> This is a national project of colossal scale, which we can and should deploy in the coming years, if not quarters," the special representative of the President said.

When asked about the preferred technology of hydrogen production in Russia, Chubais said that, despite the current higher costs for the production of the so-called green hydrogen, obtained by electrolysis of water from the energy of a renewable source, there are trends of their decline, while the costs of blue hydrogen produced from natural gas can grow.

"It is right for Russia to start with blue [hydrogen] and then gradually increase the share of green," he said.

The European hydrogen strategy, he recalled, is based on green hydrogen, while the Russian strategy is based on blue hydrogen, since there is a lot of natural gas in Russia.

But in the future, electrolysis plus renewable energy will provide economic benefits, he noted.

"Russia has fantastic opportunities for renewable energy. Russia is the number one country in the world in terms of wind potential," Chubais said.