GENERICO.ruEconomicsIgor Sechin: “the most promising type of “clean” fuel is hydrogen”

Igor Sechin: “the most promising type of “clean” fuel is hydrogen”

But so far there is no commercially feasible production technology for it, no logistics, or even sales markets

Igor Sechin, Chief Executive Officer of Rosneft PJSC, gave a keynote speech at the Energy Panel as part of the XXVII SPIEF. In his speech, he touched on the issue of alternative energy sources, climate change problems and explained in detail, using the example of Europe, how the “green” agenda can become a lever for governing entire countries.

But so far there is no commercially feasible production technology for it, no logistics, or even sales markets Photo: SPIEF-24. < /span>

The speaker began with research conducted in 1976 by the future Nobel Prize winner in physics, Academician Pyotr Kapitsa. Based on basic physical principles, the scientist predicted the possibility of a global energy crisis due to the insufficient efficiency of all types of alternative energy.

“As Kapitsa argued, the key characteristic of any type of energy is the density of its energy flow. According to this indicator, fossil fuels such as oil (provides 195 W/m2) and gas (482 W/m2) are far ahead of both solar (6.6 W/m2) and wind energy (1.8 W/m2), which, among other disadvantages, have an uneven or, in more scientific terms, stochastic nature of energy generation,” the speaker said.

Currently there is a lot of research in the field of alternative fuels. The head of Rosneft believes that the most promising type of “pure” The fuel is hydrogen.

“However, there is no commercially feasible production technology, logistics, or even sales markets for it yet. It is also necessary to take into account the still low efficiency due to the fact that when producing hydrogen, the energy consumed to perform electrolysis is greater than the amount of energy obtained at the output. Thus, alternative energy sources cannot yet ensure either reliability of supply or their optimal technical and economic characteristics,” Sechin noted.

He emphasized that the very statement about the connection between emissions and climate change requires an objective assessment, without which statements about the priority of the anthropogenic factor in climate change have no basis. The Earth's climate cycles develop according to objective laws inherent in any cosmic body, which is influenced by such basic factors as the state of the atmosphere, the activity of the Sun, the distance of the Earth's orbit from it, the angle of inclination and position of other planets relative to our planet, and many others. Climate change occurs, among other things, as a result of fundamental natural phenomena.

According to a number of reputable scientists, for example, Nobel Prize winner in physics John Clauser, the main cause of such climate changes is the natural mechanisms of self-regulation of the planet, and not the “human factor.”

Over the past 600 million years, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and air temperatures have fluctuated continuously without the influence of fossil fuels or human activity. At the same time, Sechin called the implementation of “green” transition by illusion. Despite nearly $10 trillion being invested in the energy transition worldwide over the past two decades, alternative energy sources have failed to displace hydrocarbon fuels. Today, wind and solar power account for less than 5% of global energy production, while electric vehicles account for about 3%. Over the same period, the consumption of oil, gas and coal increased by a total of 35%, and their total share in the global energy balance did not change.

“Green” The transition is not supported by cost-effective sources, and its implementation is an illusion, which leads to withdrawal of investments from traditional energy. That is, there will be neither one nor the other,” said the head of Rosneft.

He noted that the climate agenda will require the creation of a new type of infrastructure, as has happened many times before. In the 19th century, increasing coal production required huge investments in mines, canals and railways; wells, pipelines, and refineries were necessary for the development of the oil industry in the 20th century; and generating electricity required the construction of power plants and the development of a complex system of power transmission networks. In addition, “the concept of energy transition is based on discrimination of the whole world,” where partners can sacrifice each other’s interests at any time.

“This was especially evident during the implementation of the project to “rescue” Europe from imaginary dependence on Russian energy resources. Essentially, by sacrificing its energy security, the European Union also abandoned its sovereignty,” – noted Igor Sechin.

Chief Executive Director of Rosneft cited data according to which, after reducing the purchase of Russian energy, the European Union spent more than $630 billion on gas imports from other countries from 2021 to 2023. This is comparable to Europe's total gas spending over the previous 8 years. Investments of European countries in green energy for the same period are approaching this amount. The figure is also comparable to the GDP of Sweden and Poland, and is almost 4 times higher than the total GDP of the Baltic countries.

Increased gas costs, the report notes, “eat up” the economy. margins in energy-intensive industries such as steel, fertilizers, chemicals, ceramics and glass. As a result, manufacturing activity in the Eurozone has been declining since mid-2022, and 32% of German enterprises are already planning to move their production facilities abroad.

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