According to the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA), 126.3 MW of new wind power capacity was commissioned in Ukraine in 2014. Overall, since 2010 an upward trend of expanding capacities has been observed:
Against the backdrop of high prices for fossil fuels in the world, Ukraine has been steadily moving in the direction of the wind energy development (and RES, taken as a whole) at a rapid pace.
The Law dedicated to the “green tariff” adopted in 2009 has become the main driving force for the development of RES.
“Green tariff” is a special tariff under which the government buys from individuals and enterprises of various forms of ownership electricity produced using renewable energy sources. The law has also introduced the concept of “local component” in the production of energy from RES, i.e. the use of Ukrainian “works, materials and constituent parts” for power generation provides additional tariff incentives.
Electricity generation in 2014 amounted to 1123.7 mln kWh, which is almost two times as much as in 2013 (638 mln kWh). UWEA attributes this to the high efficiency of the existing German and Danish wind generators, modern design of which allowed achieving a high installed capacity utilization factor (ICUF is the main indicator of the efficiency of wind generators). For example, in Kherson region WPTs have worked with ICUF of 44%, which is an excellent indicator even for wind farms situated in the northern part of Europe that has the highest performance indicators in Europe (as ICUF of 25-30% is considered a good indicator).
The political vector of Ukraine has been aimed at the development of deeper relations with the EU for a long time. The “National action plan for the development of renewable energy in Ukraine for the period until 2030” has been adopted. It has been drafted with the assistance of experts from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). There is an ongoing Agreement between Ukraine and the European Energy Community, under which the country needs to enact laws, regulatory legal acts and administrative provisions necessary to comply with European Parliament and Council Directive 2009/28/EU of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy produced from RES.
The development of renewable technology in Ukraine is also a part of the commitments undertaken by Ukraine under the Association Agreement signed with the European Union. The adoption of the EU norms and standards, combined with duty-free trade, should contribute to the attraction of investors and transfer of technology from Western European and other leading economies.
A source of pride for the wind energy of Ukraine is Botievo wind power plant (consisting of 65 Vestas V112 turbines), which is one of the largest wind power plants in Central and Eastern Europe, and its installed capacity is 200 MW. The farm is situated on the shore of the Azov Sea near the village Botiev (Azov district of Zaporozhe region).
The construction of Zaporozhe wind farm has been planned, which should become one of the largest in Europe, with a projected installed capacity of 500 MW and with the capacity of single turbines up to 3.3 MW.
It is also being planned to construct two objects in Kherson region – Overyanovskaya and Novotroitskaya wind farms, with a total installed capacity of 140 MW.
But will these ambitious plans be put into practice and why do we observe “stagnation” of wind energy in 2015?
During the entire 2015, the installed capacity of wind energy sector in Ukraine increased by only 16.6 MW.
Compared with the rates of the past years and 126.3 MW in 2014, the rate of 2015 has severely impaired the current trend. Thus, according to UWEA, as of December 31, 2015 the total installed capacity of the wind power industry in Ukraine has reached 514 MW (the official data UWEA include 426.2 MW in the mainland and 87.8 MW in the Crimea).
There have aroused several factors hindering rapid development of wind power (as well as other forms of renewable energy).
The main source of negative effect is the difficult economic and political situation in Ukraine.
At the moment, there are three wind farms (Lutuginskiy, Krasnodonskiy and Novoazovskiy) situated in Lugansk and Donetsk regions, and project construction of wind farms in these regions is temporarily suspended.
There is also no clear understanding of the future accounting and use of the high wind energy potential of the Crimea and the status of wind power projects in the Crimea (the supply of electricity from the Crimean wind power plants to the integrated power system of Ukraine was terminated in April 2014).
There is no concerted strategy for the development of RES sector because of the inconsistence of the “National action plan for the development of renewable energy in Ukraine for the period until 2030” and “Plan for the development of the Ukrainian unified energy system”.
The legislative innovations related to the reduction in the value of “green tariff” entered in force in 2015.
Source: the website of UWEA [uwea.com.ua]
Thus, for the Ukrainian wind energy 2015 was the “year of strength tests”. All the above-mentioned factors have seriously worsened the investment climate in the sphere of renewable energy and almost completely stopped the development of this sector.
In his speech at the Paris UN conference on Climate COP 21 the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, assured that despite all the challenges Ukraine remains committed to its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, stressing: “There is only one problem, which makes us equal in terms of vulnerability . This is the problem of climate change. Solving it is a test for all nations.”
Given the still relatively high potential for use of RES, as well as the entry into force from 2016 of the economic part of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU on a free trade zone, many western experts view Ukraine as a promising area for the development of wind energy, as well as for the creation of production capacity.
Although it is unlikely to see rapid growth of renewable energy sector today, yet the country hopes that the situation may change for the better in the near future.