Renewable energy technologies: Reconstructing Ukraine’s energy sector

The European Commission and renewables associations unite to help reconstruct Ukraine’s energy sector with renewables at its core.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has revealed the weaknesses of Europe’s energy system and its over-reliance on Russian fossil imports. The Kremlin has not hesitated to explicitly weaponise this vulnerability. The European and Ukrainian Wind and Solar Associations condemn Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified military aggression against Ukraine, standing in firm solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

REPowerEU strategy

At a hybrid event, hosted by WindEurope, SolarPower Europe, the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA) and the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine (ASEU), EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, stressed that the EU is working at full speed to reduce this dependence and strengthen Europe’s energy security. With REPowerEU, its energy answer to the war in Ukraine, the European Commission intends to help reduce the import of fossil fuels from Russia by 2027. In the meantime, the EU is diversifying its energy supply, ramping up the expansion of renewables and boosting energy efficiency.

Reconstructing Ukraine’s energy sector

On the day of the International Ukraine Recovery Conference (URC 2022), held on the 4 July in Lugano, the EU is resolute in its support for the people of Ukraine. The EU will intensify its commitment to help rebuild Ukraine’s economy. An essential element of this support will be the reconstruction and modernisation of Ukraine’s energy sector. Solar and wind, the most affordable and scalable technologies, will support the country’s independence and prosperity going forward.

“Living through the eight years of Russian hybrid war has taught me two things,” explained Andriy Konechenkov, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association.The first is that Ukraine will never be safe until we have energy independence, and the second is that energy security can never come from fossil fuels. Ukraine’s post-war recovery should be based on renewable energy. 50% share of renewables in electricity generation by 2030 is realistic and feasible target for my country.”

Embracing renewable energy

At the URC event, held on 4 July 2022, the European and Ukrainian Solar and Wind Associations published a joint statement calling on the leaders from Ukraine and the EU to embrace renewables and renewable hydrogen in Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction. To achieve this, goals have been placed to reach a target of at least 50% of renewables in electricity production by 2030, through a combination of rooftop and ground-mounted solar, as well as onshore and offshore wind.

“We see right now how solar supports the Ukrainian grid’s resilience – the flexible nature of solar decreases the vulnerability of the energy supply to attack, with solar keeping the lights on in parts of Ukraine,” commented Artem Semenyshyn, CEO of the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine. “With financial and political support from the international community, the plan to rebuild Ukraine should have the principle of resilience and flexibility at its core. A mandatory solar rooftop programme to support re-building homes would enable lowest cost and clean power security for Ukraine’s citizens.”

The European wind and solar communities stand ready to support Ukraine. To deliver the 50% target, Ukrainian and European leaders should set up a dedicated “Renewables for Ukraine” vehicle as part of the joint Strategic Reconstruction Plan and the Ukraine reconstruction platform.

“We see right now how solar supports the Ukrainian grid’s resilience – the flexible nature of solar decreases the vulnerability of the energy supply to attack, with solar keeping the lights on in parts of Ukraine,” concluded/added Artem Semenyshyn, CEO of the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine. “With financial and political support from the international community, the plan to rebuild Ukraine should have the principle of resilience and flexibility at its core. A mandatory solar rooftop programme to support re-building homes would enable lowest cost and clean power security for Ukraine’s citizens.”

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