Ukraine’s Energy Conundrum

The population of the Ukraine is approximately 43.63 million people[1]. In 2018, 100% of the people in this eastern European country had access to electricity[2].

In 2018, the Ukraine’s economy was ranked 57th  in the world in gross domestic product (GDP)[3]. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of iron, steel, cereals, machine4ry, wood, and chemicals.

In 2016, Ukraine signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 60% of 1990 levels by 2030. The Ukraine pledged to revise the commitment, after the country’s territorial integrity has been restored.

In 2018, Ukrainian utilities used nuclear power (53%), coal (38%), and renewable energy (9%) to generate electricity in the country[4]. Hydropower and wind are the primary sources of renewable energy in the Ukraine.

In 2014, civil war broke out in the eastern Ukrainian region known as the Donbas. The civil war resulted in Russia’s military intervention and annexation of the region. The Ukrainian government responded by implementing programs to minimize all fossil fuel imports from Russia.

Nuclear power will continue to be a cornerstone to the Ukraine’s energy policy. The government has also implemented programs to develop the country’s renewable energy potential.

Recent Ukrainian renewable energy projects include:

  • 200 MW Wind Project – In November 2019, Ukrainian energy company, DTEK commissioned the Primorskaya wind farm, which is located approximately 275 miles southeast of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv.
  • 240 MW Solar Project – In November 2019, DTEK commissioned the Pokrovska solar project, which is located approximately 200 miles southeast of Kyiv.
  • 800 MW Wind Project – In November 2020, the People’s Republic of China construction company, Power China and Ukrainian renewable energy company, WindFarm announced plans to build a wind farm, approximately 350 miles southeast of Kyiv.

The Ukraine was heavily dependent on the import of inexpensive natural gas and oil from Russia. The Ukrainian government was faced with an energy conundrum due to Russia’s annexation of the Donbas region.

The Ukrainian government energy policy is  now based on nuclear power, which generates zero greenhouse gas emissions and the development of new utility scale wind and solar projects. The Ukraine is reducing greenhouse gas emission and also becoming energy self-sufficient.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

[1] Ukraine Population (2020) –  November 19, 2020

[2] Ukraine – The World Bank Group

[3] Gross Domestic Product 2019 – World Bank DataBank

[4] Ukraine: Electricity Market, April 2, 2020

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