The Russian National Committee of the World Energy Council with the support from Rosatom organized an international webinar on the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic on the energy decarbonisation "Is the COVID pandemic hampering the energy sector decarbonisation?" which was held on December 17, 2021.

Russian and foreign energy experts could listen to the speeches given by representatives of various sectors of the industry. Alexey Gospodarev, Executive Director of the WEC Russian National Committee moderated the discussion.

Petr Bobylev, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, elaborated on the national approaches to Fuel & Energy decarbonisation with a special emphasis on the importance of sustainable social and economic growth. The Deputy Minister said that Russia has undertaken the task of achieving carbon neutrality by 2060 and is actively working on greening its energy mix (in particular, Russia is making efforts to increase the share of low-emission nuclear energy); on developing the technologies of greenhouse gases capture and recycling in the conventional power industry; as well as on absorption of more greenhouse gases, while considering it especially important to avoid excessive pressure on the economy and social area.

“I would like to specifically point out the fact that we set goals, objectives and seek for means of achieving them considering the importance of reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the same time. This is SDG 13 – to combat climate change and its impacts, as well as global temperature rise. This is, of course, SDG 7 – to provide universal access to affordable and clean energy. We have also been paying great attention to SDG 1 - to fight poverty. As statesmen and citizens, we have no right to pursue our goals at any cost. We always take into account the income and expenditures of each household and each family,” said the Deputy Minister.

At the end of his speech, Petr Bobylev added that the 25th World Energy Congress will be held in St. Petersburg on October 24-27, 2022. Russia received the right to host the Congress according to the votes of 90 countries participating in the World Energy Council. “We are sincerely grateful for this opportunity and certain trust expressed in the granting of the right to hold such an important forum in the Russian Federation. At the Congress we are going to discuss all energy transition issues, goals and means of their achievement as well as required resources, and how we can achieve these goals avoiding any antagonism or contradiction between nations, but rather following the way that is most reasonable for the global community. We firmly believe that besides the talks over the topics and discussions of different approaches and points of view, all parties will achieve synergy relating to the climate agenda and other issues of energy transition,” he added.

Igor Ermakov, Director of the Strategic Management Department, Rosatom, presented the results of a recent study conducted by Rosatom "The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on the Global Nuclear Energy Industry." According to the expert analysis the pandemic has not entailed any significant delays in the construction of new NPPs, or project cancellations, or adjustment of long-term forecasts for the nuclear power development.

Paul Appleby, Chief Insights Officer at the World Energy Council, shared the latest results of the World Energy Transition Radar, which is the WEC’s monitoring tool in use since last year September. The project is an interactive platform that aggregates online signals indicating changes in the global energy sector as well as shifts of the global energy agenda towards a scenario that is analyzed by WEC experts: Pause, Rewind, Fast-Froward or Re-Record, which imply various vectors of the global community development the in the post-pandemic era. According to the data obtained during more than a year, the field experts tend to give rather optimistic forecasts regarding the future of the industry and related international cooperation based on the principles of mutual trust.

Stanislav Zhiznin, President of the Center for Energy Diplomacy and Geopolitics, Professor at MGIMO University of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Doctor of Economics, delivered a speech on "Energy diplomacy of the green transition under the post-pandemic condition" at the webinar. Noting that, unlike 20-30 years ago, nowadays it is not the economy, but rather geopolitics that more and more influences the global energy agenda, the speaker presented short-term and long-term forecasts for the energy development in the context of the global transition and current pandemic situation.

Stefan Vasilev, Director General of Quantum Solutions Ltd (Bulgaria), spoke about the trends and development prospects for the global market for secondary renewable energy sources.