Russian Fossil Fuel Exports Crumble As Renewable Energy Soars Globally

Country Overview

The Russian Federation is bordered by Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, People’s Republic of China, Mongolia, North Korea by land. The population of Russia is approximately 144.15 million people.

In 2022, Russia was ranked 8th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of crude oil, refined petroleum, natural gas, coal, and gold.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Russia has found it difficult to find new fossil fuel export markets for the following reasons:

  1. Russia’s natural gas exports by pipeline to the European Union and United Kingdom declined by approximately 40% during the first seven month of 2022, compared with the same period in 2021.
  2. In 2021, approximately 85% of Russia’s natural gas was exported by pipeline. Russia does export natural gas by pipeline to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, there is limited pipeline capacity for Russia to increase natural gas exports to the PRC.
  3. In 2021, Russia exported over 50% its crude oil and condensate to countries which have now placed embargos on Russian exports.
  4. Russia has very few large tankers to transport oil for export. Companies in nations which have placed embargos on Russia, dominate the world’s large tanker fleet. As a result, Russia has very few options to export oil or liquified natural gas by tanker.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Russia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to a 25% to 30% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990 levels

In 2017, Russian President, Vladimir Putin stated “volcanic eruptions were responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than the use of fossil fuels .”

In 2018, President, Vladimir Putin stated climate change was caused by “changes of global character, cosmic changes, some invisible moves in the galaxy.”

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2022, 100% of the people in Russia had access to electricity. In 2022, utilities used natural gas (43.0%), nuclear energy (20.3%), renewable energy (18.4%), coal (17.6%), and oil (0.7%) to generate electricity in Russia. Hydropower is the dominant type of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Russia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Russia include:

  • 201 MW Wind Project – In December 2021, Italian utility, Enel commissioned the Kolskaya wind project near the city Murmansk in the northern region of the country.
  • 20 MW Solar Project – In May 2021, Russian energy company, Lukoil commissioned a solar project at an oil refinery in Volgograd in the southern region of the country.


Oil was first discovered in Russia in 1929. In 2022, Russia was the 3rd largest crude oil and the 4th largest natural gas exporting the country in the world.

The export of coal, oil, and natural gas has been the cornerstone of Russia’s economy. In 2021, Russia exported U.S. $113 Billion of crude oil, U.S. $81.8 Billion of refined petroleum, U.S. $37.7 Billion of natural gas, and U.S.$19.1 Billion of coal.

The European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand economic sanctions are devastating Russia’s fossil fuel industry, and the nation’s economy. Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine has resulted in deaths of tens of thousands of Russian and Ukraine soldiers in addition to thousands of innocent Ukrainian civilians.

President Putin has shown little concern over climate changed or the unspeakable devastation and death caused by Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Ironically, demand for renewable energy is booming around the world, as Russia’s fossil fuel industry and the nation’s economy collapses.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”



Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

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