A recent statement from the official spokesman of the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers revealed that 3 billion euros will be invested in the Ukrainian solar power industry by 2020. Ukraine only gets about 3.8% of its energy from renewables, which is why there is a new priority for expanding it. The overall goal is to achieve 11% renewable energy by 2020, and unsurprisingly to reduce reliance upon Russian gas.
Conflict between Ukraine forces and Russian-backed separatists has left about 5,000 people dead in the last 10 months.
Natural gas, coal and nuclear provide most of Ukraine’s energy. Liquid fuels are used for electricity generation, and much of those are imported from Russia. “In an interview, Naftogas chief executive Andriy Kobolyev said supplies from Russia could drop in a few years to just a third of total Ukrainian imports as Ukraine takes advantage of its ability to import more from the liberalised European markets,” Reuters reports. “Those figures would have been impossible to imagine a few years ago, when Russia was covering all of Ukraine’s gas imports: over 50 billion cubic metres out of a total consumption of over 70 bcm.”
Who wants to do energy business with a government that is backing rebels that want to do damage to them?
An Ernst & Young report stated that Ukraine has strong solar power potential. It also has good wind power potential, and when combined with solar, Ukraine has a chance to become energy independent.
Energy independence helps nations by reducing the amount of money they must spend every year on energy imports. When they save that money, it can be spent and invested domestically, which supports their own economies and citizens. Additionally, reducing reliance on foreign energy can decrease potential geopolitical tension and conflict. To put it very simply, the more energy independence Ukraine can achieve, the more geopolitical stability it can experience.
Image Credit: Pirzkghl, Wiki Commons