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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Russia’s critical role in the clean energy transition


8 min read

Onshore wind farm set against grey and cloudy sky Photo: Pexels
Russia’s energy influence extends to many of the metals and minerals vital for the energy transition

Photo: Pexels

The invasion of Ukraine compelled governments to improve energy security by extricating themselves from Russian supplies. But Russia is an entrenched and indispensable player in the global energy sphere and its key materials for the energy transition, including nuclear materials and expertise, will protect its energy superpower status, writes Sara Siddeeq.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year precipitated a series of global challenges, from soaring energy prices, upended supply chains, and the pressing need for some countries to diversify their energy mix. In the West, this had the unintended repercussion of intensifying government efforts to accelerate the energy transition.


This transition would steer nations away from heavily polluting fuels, provided by a limited number of international suppliers, towards low-carbon energy sources such as renewables and nuclear energy. It has been embraced by Europe in particular, which felt the aftershocks of the war most acutely due to its reliance on Russian imports.


From 2021 to 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin leveraged oil and gas to exert pressure on Europe, thereby triggering a global energy crisis, both in the lead-up to and the aftermath of the invasion of Ukraine. This manoeuvre incited a short-term surge in coal usage for heating and power, resulting in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions globally.


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