By Eurasia Network – January 7, 2019

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Wind turbines in fields, 2017 – Photo credit : S. Bigot

Renewable energy in Ukraine steadily grew in 2018, with 813 MW of new generating capacities installed, reported the State Agency for Energy Efficiency. It is almost three times more than the volume of capacity installed in 2017, which amounted to 300 MW.

This growth covers a diversified portfolio of renewable energy sources :

  • 646 MW of solar power plants;
  • 70 MW of solar rooftops ;
  • 68 MW of wind power plants;
  • 13 MW of biomass power plants;
  • 12 MW of biogas power plants ;
  • 4 MW of small hydropower plants.

More than 730 million euros were invested in the installation of these 813 MW of renewable energy capacities.

Ukraine has today 2,240 MW of renewable energy capacity, which is 1.5 times more than in December 2017 (about 1,500 MW). This represents a growth of 49.3% in one year.

Read also : The Danish Vestas and Ukrainian DTEK build a 100 MW wind farm near Sea of Azov

Sergey Savchuk, Head of State Agency for Energy Efficiency, said that “these results demonstrate the steady development of renewable energy in Ukraine, backed up by legislation and incentives favourable to investors and companies, as well as the global trend towards cheapening of sustainable energy technologies.

Towards auctions for renewable energy

Sergey Savchuk added that “Now it is important to maintain the positive dynamics of the development of “clean” energy by introducing an auction system in our country, which is already popular in the leading countries of the world.”

The draft bill No. 8449-d dated December 5, 2018 on the transition to an auction system from 2020 regarding the electricity generation from renewable energy was approved by the Ukrainian Parliament in its first reading on December 20, 2018.

The text was approved with the support of 227 deputies. The bill introduces a 25% reduction in the green tariff for solar power plants in 2020 with a further decrease of 2.5% annually. Green tariff for wind farms is to decrease by 10% in 2020 and 1.5% annually over the next three years, reported Interfax press agency.

The main goal of this new law is to ensure thanks to the mechanism of auctions :

  • Decreasing the cost of electricity from renewable energy ;
  • Transparent and competitive development of new capacities ;
  • Stability in the financing of “green” energy projects.

Renewable energy spreads in cities and households

According to the Ukrainian State Agency for Energy Efficiency, more than 6,000 Ukrainian households have installed over the past four years solar panels with a total capacity of 121 MW. Almost 3,000 of them installed this equipment in the first nine months of 2018, benefiting from the green tariff.

Read also : A 200 MW wind farm to be built in Southern Ukraine

More and more Ukrainian cities use the opportunities brought by biomass to generate heat. Thus, a 45 MW thermal power plant which uses straw, wood chips, corn and sunflower waste to generate electricity and heat, has been launched in the city of Kamianets-Podilskyi, in Western Ukraine. Furthermore, a solid fuel boiler house on wood chips with a capacity of 10 MW was built in Slavutych (Kiev oblast), which provides about 30% of the city with heat and hot water, reported Interfax press agency.

25% of renewable energy share by 2035

The Ukrainian government set in October 2014 the goal to increase renewable energy share in the national power mix to 11% by 2020. The country is committed to reduce its carbon emissions and fight climate change. Ukraine signed the Paris Climate Agreement in April 2016 and the Parliament ratified the text in July 2016.

Read also : A Norwegian company to build 83 MW of solar power in Ukraine by 2019

In December 2018, Mikhail Bliznyuk, the Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine, remembered that in accordance with the Energy Strategy of Ukraine until 2035, adopted in 2017, the country must reach a renewable energy share of 11% by 2020 and 25% by 2035.

The renewable energy share in the structure of electricity production in Ukraine is now about 2%, while the share in turnover of power companies amounts to 8.7%

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