The study on Ukraine’s transition to renewable energy envisages the country’s potential for increasing its share of green energy as well as brings up some of the challenges on the way.
Ukraine has all the capabilities to cover 91 percent of its own energy needs with the green energy by 2050. These are the results of the report “Ukraine’s transition to renewable energy by 2050” presented by Oleksandr Dyachuk, Ph.D. in Technical Sciences, Institute for Economics and Forecasting of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, at a press-briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. If Ukraine encourages the transition to renewable energy, its share may reach 40 percent by 2035 already. “This forecast is not much different from what Ukraine’s energy strategy says. The scenario is fully coherent with the dynamics declared in the strategy, at least on paper,” Dyachuk added.
The report is a feasibility analysis to support Ukraine’s transition to renewable energy sources. The report fully covers the energy system as well as demonstrates the possible economic effect from the transition. The revolutionary scenario foresees that the achieved share of renewable energy reaches 91 percent, not 100 percent, in the view of pricing. “We wanted that the cost of the system operation under the regular, conservative progressing is about the same as under the revolutionary scenario. So that we would be using investment into the technologies that we need. It would not cost us more: investment is higher, but so is the saving on fuel,” Dyachuk noted. The transition will happen first of all due to the wind, solar and biomass energy. The share of the wind power stations in the overall structure of energy production may reach up to 45 percent, solar power stations – up to 36 percent, while biomass and waste may reach up to 73 percent in the overall structure of thermal power production.
Serhii Savchuk, Head of the State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, added that Ukraine needs to find additional investment to convert its energy to renewables. In order to attract potential investors, it is important to create more quality projects as well as introduce special financial instruments to stimulate the sector. “We need to create the Green Fund – these are the banks that focus particularly on green energy projects and that provide initial investment. Such bank established in Ukraine would need to have a technical office that would help develop the projects. Then this green bank will be able to attract up to 20 percent of the investment. So we need to work on establishing financial institutions and tools,” Serhii Savchuk explained.
“Even under the conservative scenario –if we don’t enhance the renewable energy technologies, renewable energy sources will still be pushing out the traditional ones,” Oleksandr Dyachuk said. “It is not about closing or not closing down the nuclear power plants, substituting them or not. It is about what we will construct to replace them. This scenario demonstrates that it is more economically beneficial and safer to replace the facilities that have exhausted their potential with renewables,” added Iryna Holovko, Head of Energy Department at the NGO “Environmental Initiatives Center “Ekodiya”.
“I hope that this research will make the authorities ask themselves: what are we going to do with coal generation? If we plan to step away from it in the future, what programs we will be offering to the coal miners, for the coal towns, how we will signal it to the people as the state,” emphasized Oleksii Ryabchyn, MP of “Batkivshchyna” faction, member of the Parliamentary Committee on Fuel and Energy Complex, Nuclear Policy and Nuclear Safety.