Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Energy

Time for Russia to tap renewables

Russia's big territory and coastline are potentially huge sources of renewable energy from sun, wind, waves, tides and currents, but about 91% of the country's energy still comes from fossil fuels. This must be urgently rectified if Russia is to honour its pledge, made ahead of this month's climate summit in Paris, to reduce its carbon emissions by 25–30% relative to 1990 levels by 2030.

Russia's carbon emissions have been increasing since 1998. Only 3.2% of its total primary energy supply came from renewables in 2013 (nuclear accounts for the rest; see www.iea.org/statistics). This compares poorly with industrial nations such as Brazil (40%), Sweden (35.7%), India (26.4%), Canada (18.6%) China (11%) and the United States (6.8%).

Russian environmental legislation is taking small, ongoing steps to protect its natural resources, clean up polluted areas, control air and water quality and advance green industrial technologies. Environmental penalties for pollution and illegal use of natural resources have increased sharply. More investment in renewable energy will help to protect Russia's natural environment.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alexander Gorobets.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gorobets, A. Time for Russia to tap renewables. Nature 527, 305 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/527305c

Download citation

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing