This was the message of Nobel Prize winner Rae Kwon Chung during a colloquium that took place on Monday attended by academics of the National Research University – Moscow Power Engineering Institute – as well as specialists in thermal and renewable energy.
In his address, Rae Kwon Chung analysed the risks and opportunities presented by the transition to a low-carbon economy:
- Achieving zero-emissions status requires a broad consensus, both at a national level (between regulators and industry) and at an international level (the European Union could serve as an example here as it is to present details of the provisions of its “Green Deal” in June).
- The transition to a low-carbon economy involves distributing electricity over long distances.
- As the energy transition proceeds, nuclear power will remain a matter of political choice. France, for instance, banked heavily on expanding the capacity of its nuclear power stations, while other stations took reactors out of service.
- For Russia, the energy transition involves both risks and opportunities, given the favourable geographical and climatic conditions for developing power generation based on renewable sources in different Russian regions – for instance Kamchatka and Sakhalin.
- Given the considerable share of gas and coal-fired power stations, one of the solutions on the road to zero emissions in Russia could be using the Allam cycle, involving a low carbon footprint, while not obliging the country to abandon traditional energy sources.
In his address, Rae Kwon Chung also examined the role of science. He noted that research and development could provide the basis for an energy transition by themselves and stressed that a key role could be played by the National Research University – Moscow Power Engineering Institute.
“The University could send a positive message to the country and to society about developing ‘green’ energy – and that would open greater opportunities for Russians and spur growth of the Russian economy in the future,” he said.
In concluding the event, the moderator, the Institute’s Rector, Nikolay Rogalev, stressed the importance of international cooperation in the sphere of renewal energy.
“The scientific potential of Russian energy lays down a basis for Russia to be a leader in terms of technologies, which can guarantee the stability of our sector for decades to come,” Rogalev said.