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П`ятниця, 23.02.2018
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Alternative Energy – a driver of Ukrainian economy

Alternative Energy – a driver of Ukrainian economy

Renewable energy sources must be considered as one of the main drivers of Ukrainian economy. The country strives towards ensuring its energy security, trying to reduce its dependence on energy supplies from Russia. Development and implementation of renewables is an important condition of European Union accession as well.

Alternative energy in Ukraine is receiving the required attention. In 2011, the total generating capacity of Ukrainian power plants was increased by 149 MW – up to 0.3% if compared with 2010. The total volume of country's generating capacity has reached 53.31 GW. Most importantly, this growth was achieved mainly due to renewable energy sources: wind and solar farms, small hydro power plants and biofuel power generating units.

However, despite the positive trend, the share of renewable energy (excluding large hydroelectric power stations) in Ukrainian energy balance is still below 1%. According to experts, this year country will attract around EUR 1 billion in form of private investments for the construction of renewable energy facilities. In 2013, alternative energy in Ukraine may attract up to five times more. According to the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Conservation of Ukraine, the share of renewables in the energy balance will reach 11% by 2020. We should notice that similar indicator in EU will reach 34% by 2020, and will be further increased up to 66% till 2030.

Never the less, there are many obvious obstacles to the rapid development of alternative energy in Ukraine. In particular, technical capacities regarding the transfer of generated electricity (direct current in case of wind and solar farms) into the power grid (alternating current) are relatively poor. In addition, renewable energy sources - such as solar and wind - are unstable and require "support" from the traditional counterparts. Therefore thermal power stations and nuclear power plants shouldn’t be disregarded.

Another obstacle is related to economic factors: renewable energy most probably will remain relatively expensive compared to conventional power resources for a long time. This is caused by relatively high costs of advanced technologies licensing. And finally, the frequent changes of relevant regulatory enactments, which could have been noticed in recent years, do not inspire foreign and local investors with confidence.

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