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General information about Russia

As for its territory, Russia1 ranks the first in the world, as for its population – the ninth, as for GDP PPP, estimated in USA Dollars – the sixth (2011).

In 2014 Russia2 was the third largest fossil fuel producer (following China and the US). Russia accounted for 12.7% of global oil production, 16.7% of gas, and 4.3% of coal.

Production of renewable energy in Russia (excluding electricity produced by large hydro electric power stations) is extremely small, even though the potential of renewable energy, including the production of the bioenergy and biofuel from wood and agricultural waste is enormous. Potentially, Russia could become a "green giant" of energy.

At present the economy is focused on the production, export and use of mineral resources; there are insufficient incentives for renewable energy production and its use inside the country. And the situation at the state level has only recently started to change for the better.

Russia has recently increased its production of biofuel mainly aimed for export.

Area1: 17.1 million km2 (13% of agricultural land, 51% of forest land, 13% of surface water, including swamps).

Population1: 146 267 000 persons (as of 01/01/2015). Portion of urban population is 74%.

Population Density1: 8.5 person per 1 km2 (as of 01/01/2015).

Administrative‐Territorial Structure: The Russian Federation consists of 85 equal subjects, including 22 republics, 9 territories, 46 regions, 3 federal cities, 1 autonomous oblast and 4 autonomous counties. The entire territory is divided into 9 Federal Districts.

Climate: The climate on the whole territory of Russia is characterized by a distinct division of the year into the cold and warm seasons, and large temperature differences. Annual range of temperatures increases and winter temperatures decrease towards the north and the east. Average temperatures1: January – from 5 °С (Black Sea Coast) to -48 °С (Yakutia); July – from 0 °С (Kara Sea islands) to 26 °С (Kalmykia).

GHG emissions5: Total greenhouse gas emissions in the territory of the Russian Federation in 2012, excluding Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) amounted to 2295.05 million tonnes of CO2-eq., which is 31.7% below the level of 1990; GHG emissions in 2012 including LULUCF amounted to 1753.03 million tonnes of CO2-eq.

Forest sector

Russia4 accounts for over 20% of the world forests, but its share in the world forest products trade is below 4%. Forests occupy over half of the land of the country, but the share of the forest sector in GDP of Russia is only 1.3%, in employment 1%. The colossal forest potential of the country is essentially under-utilized. Underdeveloped infrastructure is the bottleneck. The opportunities presented by the forest sector are clearly underestimated by state economic policy.

Forest area3: The total area of forest lands was 891.2 million hectares as of the 1st of January 2014, including 597.7 million hectares of production forests. Рercentage of forest land is 46.5%.

The total growing stock3: 83 billion cubic metres.

Net annual increment4more than 1 billion cubic metres per year.

Forest-forming tree species4: the coniferous group account for 68.4% of the forest area, hard-leaved deciduous accounts for 2.4%, and soft-leaved deciduous accounts for 19.3%. Other tree species account for less than 1% of lands, while other species including shrubbery account for about 9% of the area.

Area distribution of the main forest-forming tree species by age groups4: young growth accounts for 17.1 percent, middle-aged accounts for 28.5 percent, ripening accounts for 10.7 percent, and mature and over-mature accounts for 43.8 percent. About 50 percent of the total coniferous area is represented by mature and over-mature stock. Their concentrations are found mostly in remote forest parcels with difficult access, on lands with excessive soil humidity. Increasing the availability of forests can be achieved by the construction of road infrastructure.

Production volumes in the forest sector in 2013
ProductAmountUnit
Wood harvesting5193.3*million cubic metres
Timber721.7million cubic metres
Pulp77211thousand tonnes
Cardboard73022thousand tonnes
Paper74765thousand tonnes
Wood pellets81.5**million tonnes

*Whereas the ratio of the actual amount of wood harvesting to the established allowable amount of wood removal is only 30%.
**Estimate

The Arkhangelsk region is one of the leading centers of the Russian timber industry. There are several wood pellet plants in this region.

Agriculture

Products and particularly agricultural waste can potentially make a very significant contribution into the development of bioenergy in Russia.

Agricultural land: At the end of 2013 the area of agricultural land in Russia amounted to 220.2 million hectares.3

Sown area of agricultural crops in 2014 amounted to 78.5 million hectares (58.8% - grains and grain legumes, 15.5% - industrial crops, 3.7% - potatoes, vegetables and watermelons, 22.0% - feed crops).1 In addition, each year fallow is about 13 million hectares.7

According to prof. V.Ya. Uzun of the All-Russian Institute of Agrarian Problems and Informatics named after A.A. Nikonov (VIAPI)9 there are more than 70 million hectares (more than 30%) of unused agricultural lands in Russia, but they are located mainly in the areas with low bioclimatic potential.

Gross yield of some crops in 20137
ProductAmountUnit
Grain (in weight after processing)92.4million tonnes
Sugar beet39.3million tonnes
Sunflower seeds10.6million tonnes
Soya seeds1636thousand tonnes
Rape seeds1393thousand tonnes
Potatoes30.2million tonnes
Forage maize25.9million tonnes
Hay21.1million tonnes
Livestock and poultry in 2013, million heads7
Livestock / poultryAmount
Cattle19.6
Hog19.1
Sheep and goats24.3
Horses1.4
Poultry495
Production of major livestock products in 20137
ProductAmountUnit
Butcher stock (carcass weight)8544thousand tonnes
Milk30.5million tonnes
Eggs41.3Milliard units
Wool (in physical weight)55thousand tonnes
Honey68thousand tonnes

 

The Belgorod region is the leader of the country’s animal husbandry. This region is also leading in the biogas energy production in the country.

Energy production and consumption

According to the data of detailed analysis of the Russian energy policy, made by IEA10, main performance highlights in energy production and utilization in Russia in 2012 are the following.

Total energy production: 1331.8 Mtoe (natural gas – 40.6%, oil – 39.1%, coal – 15.1%, nuclear power – 3.5%, hydropower – 1.1%, biofuel and waste – 0.6%), +27.3% since 2002

Total primary energy supply (TPES)*: 747.4 Mtoe (natural gas – 51.8%, oil – 21.8%, coal – 17.3%, nuclear power – 6.2%, hydropower – 1.9%, biofuel and waste – 1%, geothermal energy – 0.1%), +20% since 2002.
*TPES is calculated as primary energy production + import – export – international marine and aviation bunker ± stock changes

Power generation: 1069.3 TWh (natural gas – 49.1%, nuclear power – 16.6%, coal – 15.7%, hydropower – 15.5%, oil – 2.6%, , biofuel and waste – 0.3%, geothermal – 0.1%), +20.2% since 2002.

Ratio of renewable energy sources (RES): 3% of TPES and 15.8% of electricity production. Whereas hydropower (consisting almost totally of large hydro power stations) accounts for 1.9% of TPES and 15.5% of electricity production, biofuel and waste - 1% of TPES and 0.3% of electricity production, other RES - about 0.1% of TPES.

References:

1. Russia’ 2015: Statistical Pocketbook/Rosstat. Moscow, 2015 (ru) (en)
2. BP Statistical Review of World Energy, June 2015 (en)
3. Environmental protection in Russia. 2014: Stat. digest. / Rosstat. - M., 2014 (ru)
4.The Russian Federation forest sector. Outlook study to 2030. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Rome, 2012 (ru) (en)
5. National inventory report of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol for 1990 - 2012 years. 2 volumes. Moscow, 2014. (ru)
6. Unified Interdepartmental Statistical Information System
7.Russian statistics annual book. 2014: Stat. digest./ Rosstat. - M., 2014 (ru)
8. UNECE/FAO Forest Products Annual Market Review 2013-2014 (en)
9. The need for and mechanisms of involvement of agricultural land abandoned during the reforms in Russia in the agriculture. Prof. V.Ya.Uzun, VIAPI them. A.A.Nikonova (presentation at the conference at HSE 2011) (ru)
10. Russia 2014. Energy Policies Beyond IEA Countries (ru) (en)