Ukraine is undergoing a process of political and economic transformation. And energy policy is playing a major part in it. The aim is to make the energy sector more efficient and gradually switch to renewable energy sources – in order to reduce dependence on energy imports at the same time. German experience and technology is intended to help accelerate this process. For several years now, dena has been supporting this development.
Its ‘German-Ukrainian Energy Partnership’ project is laying the foundations for an intensive, bilateral exchange of energy policy ideas. The key points of this joint activity are modernisation of the Ukrainian electricity grids, municipal heating supply and increasing energy efficiency in the Ukrainian building sector.
In the EU, especially in Germany, there is major interest in seeing a democratic and economically prosperous Ukraine. Since the appointment of new president Wolodymyr Selensky and the bringing forward of parliamentary elections, people have been watching keenly the changes now taking place, and hoping for new impetus in the energy sector in particular. Ukraine is one of the most energy-intensive and import-dependent countries in Europe: more than 60 per cent of its energy sources come from abroad. The energy intensity is three to four times higher than the average EU reference value. This is caused not only by the loss of the coal-rich eastern provinces, but also by inefficient use of the country’s energy resources, both domestic and imported.
It is against this background that Thomas Bareiss, Parliamentary Undersecretary at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and Nataliya Bojko, acting Ukrainian Minister for Energy, Coal and European Integration, agreed to work towards a German-Ukrainian Energy Partnership when they met on the sidelines at the 5th Energy Transition Dialogue in April 2019. Since then, dena has been working to further expand the networking between both countries in matters of energy policy. Dialogue initiatives to boost the exchange of ideas on energy and energy efficiency, involving the most important political and economic stakeholders, have been set up as part of the ‘Ukraine: Energy Partnership with Germany’ project.
The municipal heating sector in Ukraine is faced with a particular challenge: here, hardly anything has changed since the 1990s. Outmoded production facilities and supply systems, enormous grid losses and general grid instability, energy losses in buildings and minimal urban planning by municipalities result in low energy efficiency. There is therefore a need for solutions that can contribute to the modernisation of municipal heating supply, the sustainability of approaches to energy-efficient refurbishment of buildings and urban energy management.
Ukrainian cities are about to embark on a municipal heating transition, which can be made more sustainable and efficient with the help of support from and dialogue with German experts and companies. New business models and concepts are designed to help improve the municipal heating transition, and promote sustainable development and a switch to renewable energy sources in Ukrainian cities.
Source picture header: shutterstock.com/Roman Levenko