Russia's road transport sector: Prospects for alternative energy
Diversification of energy sources in the road transport sector is becoming a global trend with the emergence of economically and technologically viable alternative fuels, such as electricity, biofuels, compressed natural gas, and others. With the transport sector generating over 50% of global oil demand, this trend obviously holds great significance. The Russian Federation, while being one of the world's major oil producers as well as energy consumers, is falling behind on this trend. However, the prospects for change are quite tangible. The article presents a long term outlook for changes in the Russian road transportation sector's fuel mix. The calculations demonstrate that switching to natural gas and electricity will reduce the share of petroleum products from 95% in 2015 to 74–86% by 2040. Nevertheless, the extent of support by the Russian Government for the infrastructural development will be the key factor to determine the end result. The incentives for natural gas and electric vehicles will also play a large role. The issue of fuel mix diversification will have to be resolved against the background of a 75% increase in the sector's energy consumption, expected in the next 20 yr. Petrol will remain a key fuel for transportation but its share will decrease from 59 to 40-47%, while the share of diesel will remain at 34-39%.