Today Professor Tynkkynen appeared on Ykkösaamu radio programme, where he spoke about Russian energy policy and other issues, that he covers in his new book, “The Energy of Russia. Hydrocarbon Culture and Climate Change“. Listen to the talk on Yle website and come today to Tiedekulma at 13:00 to the book presentation.
Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen provided his comments for the new article “Venäjän ja Turkin presidentit vihkivät Mustanmeren pohjassa kulkevan kaasuputken” (Russian and Turkish presidents launched passing through the Black Sea bottom gas pipeline), published in Ilta-Sanomat on 8th of January. Professor Tynkkynen says that the new Turkstream pipeline is a significant step towards Russia’s long-term strategic objective of circumventing Ukraine when supplying gas to Europe.
The article can be read online in Finnish.
This week, on 17th of January, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen will present his new book “The Energy of Russia” at Tiedekulma. Helsinki University website published an interview with Professor Tynkkynen “Venäjän hiilivetykulttuuri ja avaimet sen purkamiseen” (Russian hydrocarbon culture and the keys to its dismantling), where the readers can learn more about the book and its premise.
Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s work “Energy of Russia. Hydrocarbon Culture and Climate Change ”, published in December 2019, is a clear and comprehensive presentation of Russia’s energy policy and its deep links to domestic and foreign policy as well as to Russian identity. The book is particularly valuable because, in addition to presenting the problems, it also offers concrete solutions. There are no easy solutions, but Tynkkynen still encourages trying.
Russia could produce all the energy it needs via renewable energy sources. There are so many areas in a large country ideal for solar power plants, wind farms and hydropower, that there would be plenty of energy to export. Technology is available, and the growing concerns of Russians about both global climate change and local environmental problems are putting pressure on the transition to cleaner energy production. Why doesn’t something happen, though?
– It is unnecessarily pessimistic to say that nothing would happen, comforts Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor of Russian Environmental Studies There are projects in Russia, for example, aimed at increasing the utilization of wind power. Having said that, however, it must be pointed that while the projects, in absolute terms, may be large, they are mostly cosmetic in the scale of Russian energy production. Russia is helplessly behind the rest of the world, especially the EU, the US and China.
Read this brilliant interview by Niina Into in full on the University’s website.
Helsingin Sanomat published a large feature article titled “Onko edessä uusien suurvaltojen aika? Näin energiamullistus ravistelee maailmanpolitiikan valta-asetelmia” (Is it time for new superpowers? In this way, the energy change shakes global power setting). The author of the article investigates whether the ongoing energy transition collapse the old energy superpowers and give rise to new ones. Professor Tynkkynen provided a detailed account of Russian perspective:
In terms of export earnings, oil is more important to Russia than gas. Demand for oil is not expected to decline same way as coal. But if that was the case, the blow to Russia would be a big one.
“Russia is dependent on oil and gas, which could lose their market in 30 years. That is not a safe Russia. Therefore, Russia’s uncritical attitude towards hydrocarbons is not harmless,” says Tynkkynen, a Russian energy and environmental specialist.
Tynkkynen reminds that two-thirds of Russian export energy is imported into Europe.
“Therefore it is also our responsibility to help Russia move towards a low-carbon society. ”
The full article can be read either in print or online.
A big interview with Professor Tynkkynen was published Svenska Yle. The article and the interview itself are both in Swedish – Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen aims to speak all languages of FInland’s neighbours. The interview tells about his love for languages, new book “The Energy of Russia”, Russian energy and foreign policy, and many other things that Professor Tynkkynen is interested in. Read the interview online on Yle website.
Additionally, you can here to the part of the interview in radio programme Aktuellt, it starts around 25th minute.
A Czech news portal Info.cz published an article “Rusko posiluje partnerství s Čínou. Obě země spojil obří plynovod za 55 miliard dolarů” (Russia is strengthening its partnership with China. A giant $ 55 billion gas pipeline has joined two countries), for which Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen provided comments.
“Russia is still dependent on the EU market. I think that the development of the oil and gas market, especially competition from LNG and renewable energies, has a greater effect on prices than the sale of discounted Russian gas to China,” According to him, the Power of Siberia is symbolically important for Russia – it can now be argued that Europe is no longer the main market for it. “It’s important for both domestic and foreign audiences,” Tynkkynen adds.
The article in Czech can be found online from here.
Professor Tynkkynen provided comments for Yle’s new article “Fortum rakentaa Venäjän suurinta tuulipuistoa – Turbiineja arvostellaan Putinia myöten: “Ne värähtelevät niin, että madot ryömivät maasta“. Venäjä kehittää tuuli- ja aurinkovoimaa. Se ei kuitenkaan aio irtautua fossiilisesta energiasta” (Fortum builds Russia’s largest wind farm – Turbines were criticized by Putin: “They vibrate so that worms crawl out of the ground”. Russia is developing wind and solar power. However, it does not intend to break away from fossil energy.)
Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Associate Professor of Russian Environmental Studies at the University of Helsinki, does not believe that Russia’s current leadership wants to, or even can, move away from fossil fuels.
– Putin’s administration is clinging to hydrocarbons. Their role in the economy and society in general is too big, says Tynkkynen, referring to the role of the traditional energy sector in the country’s power structures and in building the nation’s identity.
Read full article on Yle website.
Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen provided comments for the new newspaper article “Suomen kaasumarkkina avautuu ja kaasu alkaa virrata Viron ja Suomen välillä – Vaikutus: hinta laskee, huoltovarmuus paranee, riippuvuus Venäjästä vähenee” (“Finnish gas market opens and gas starts to flow between Estonia and Finland – Impact: price falls, security of supply improves, dependence on Russia decreases”).
So far, Finland has been almost completely dependent on Russian natural gas, says Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Assistant Professor of Russian Environmental Policy at the Aleksanteri Institute.
– The gas pipeline from Estonia will allow competitive tendering, which is likely to affect Russian gas pricing as well. The market price is expected to fall by at least a few percent, but the impact may be greater, Tynkkynen estimates.
Talouselämä published a new article EU:n riippuvuus venäläisestä fosfaatista kasvaa – ”Johtoryhmällä tiukat kytkökset Putinin hallintoon” (EU dependence on Russian phosphate grows – ‘Senior management group has strong ties to Putin’s administration’) with Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s comments in it.
“In Brussels, we imagine that the EU is a united player. However, it does not have a common voice on issues related to strategic natural and energy resources,” says Tynkkynen.
Read the full article on the newspaper’s website.
“Maakaasussa on vuoto-ongelma, joka uhkaa tehdä ilmastonmuutoksen torjunnasta entistä vaikeampaa – ”Jos venäläisiltä kysyy, kaikki on kunnossa”” (There is a leakage problem with natural gas that threatens to make the fight against climate change more difficult – “If you ask Russians, everything is fine”) article was published in Helsingin Sanomat in the end of August, and Professor Tynkkynen was interviewed for it. While natural gas helps to combat climate change – “increased natural gas combustion saved some 2.8 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide between 2000 and 2017”, yet the leakage of methane during the gas extraction process increases the greenhouse effect significantly. Professor Tynkkynen commented on the issue and added, that when Europeans are buying Russian natural gas, they do not have a clear understanding of the accompanying gas-leakage during transportation and production. The Russians say that everything is fine and do not report anything about the leakages.
The full article can be read online.