But despite a steady decline, there was a consensus at the Russian Energy Week that coal will still play a notable role in the country’s energy future.
“We cannot see a Russian energy balance in 2024-2035 without coal power generation. At this time, the share of coal in the energy balance amounts to about 12.5-13 %,” Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Snikkars told a session entitled ‘The Future of Coal in a World Shaped by the Climate Agenda: The End, or a New Beginning?’
“By 2050, the share of coal generation in the energy balance – provided there are no serious changes in comprehensive modernisation and in CO2 capture – should stand at about 4.5 %. That means we see a calm evolutionary approach to withdrawing from coal.”
The governor of Kemerovo region in the Kuzbass coalfield disagreed.
“You can certainly question the figures quoted by the Energy Ministry,” Sergei Tsivilyov told the gathering. “I see much greater prospects for the coal sector.”
Zinfer Ismagilov, Director of the Institute of Coal Chemistry and Material Science, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Global Energy Prize laureate, said developing new technologies could keep coal’s share of the energy balance at 10 %.
“I believe it could remain at the level of about 10 % owing to the development of new technologies of burning and refining coal as well as the process of gasification of coal which will raise its energy conversion efficiency,” he told participants.
Significant stocks of coal and water could help introduce technologies on economically viable production of hydrogen. And coal chemistry is yet another area of development for the coal industry, while at the same time we will see further development of technologies of CO2 capture and storage.