UK helps Ukraine phase out coal and go green

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LONDON (ICIS) – Ukraine is working with the UK on projects essential to reduce its dependence on coal and support the effective transition to a green-scale economy.

Speaking to ICIS, Peter Wickenden, first secretary for energy policy at the British embassy in Kiev, said British companies are actively interested in sharing know-how and investing in key energy projects. renewable energy in Ukraine.

A project is being carried out by the UK consultancy firm ERM following a request from the Ukrainian Department of Energy to share the UK’s experience in closing mines and financing new forms of economic activity sustainable.

Ukraine has a heavy dependence on coal since 22 GW or 40% of its installed electric capacity is based on coal. All is not being used and the country intends to phase out 10 GW over the next decade.

However, the phasing out of coal will result in the shutdown of supply to coal mines, which could have a significant social and economic impact.

The project, which will run until mid-2022, will focus on several pilot areas, probably in the far west of Ukraine. It will begin by identifying the existing characteristics of the sites chosen before developing an overall vision for the territory and its economic reconversion.

If the model proves effective, it can be deployed nationwide, where more than 30 state-owned mines are to be closed.

“In England and Wales we have done a number of different things in different areas, from new types of modern industries such as manufacturing and services, to tourism, recreation, heritage centers / museums, new national parks / nature reserves. A former mine site is now a horse racing ground and then there’s the Eden project in Cornwall, for example, ”he said.

Heat from closed coal mines could also be used to heat homes or produce and store energy, he added.

LONG-TERM STRATEGY

At the same time, British specialists are working with Ukrainian decision-makers to draft the country’s long-term energy strategy until 2050.

The project should be delivered at the beginning of next year and consists of five phases comprising the analysis of the political, social and economic contexts, the development of a methodology for forecasting the energy balance, the approval of this methodology, the development of the principles of the strategy or the engagement of various stakeholders.

It will work alongside Ukraine’s key objectives, including energy security and energy independence, decarbonization, improving energy efficiency and the shift to clean energy.

Ukraine is actively seeking to develop its renewable energy sector, with wind and solar power plants currently covering around 14% of the total installed capacity. Many UK companies have entered the sector and others are likely to invest more as the country seeks to increase production of green gas.

“As far as I know, UK based financial investors are among the biggest foreign investors in renewables in Ukraine. For example, Elementum Energy, which is owned by VR Capital, has invested in nearly 30 solar and wind farms across the country. ”

Wickenden said Ukrainian companies looking to invest in nuclear or renewable projects could get funding through UK Export Finance, a UK government export finance agency.

HYDROGEN AND BIOMETHANE

Meanwhile, representatives of the Ukrainian public and private sectors have worked with UK companies focusing on the development of hydrogen production facilities.

The UK has been at the forefront of hydrogen development and is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electrolyzers, which are essential for the production of green hydrogen from renewable energy.

Ukraine’s offshore wind potential is estimated at 100 GW, which is one-fifth of Europe’s aggregate offshore wind potential.

However, the development of the Ukrainian hydrogen sector will largely depend on the capacity of its infrastructure to transport gas. Sources in the distribution and transportation industries insist that the transportation network could only ship 20% of hydrogen blends. This means that the remaining 80% of gas in infrastructure should be natural gas or biomethane, the molecule of which is identical to that of natural gas.

“Considering the enormous scale of agricultural production in Ukraine and the consequent availability of prodigious amounts of material for potential conversion to biomethane, and the scale of biomethane production already underway in the UK – there is has almost 600 operational factories in UK, I am of course UK and Ukraine have great opportunities to work together in this sector, ”said Wickenden.


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