Solar-powered electricity has claimed the biggest share in the renewable energy mix of Ukraine, closely trailed by wind energy production.
As reported by pv-magazine, the total capacity of renewable energy plants in Ukraine in midyear had reached 1,028 MW. According to a report released by the SEF-2016 KYIV International Forum of Sustainable Energy in Ukraine, as of July 1, the country tallied:
- 453 MW of solar plants
- 426 MW of wind farms
- 31 MW of biomass power
- 118 MW of small hydro power plants
About a year ago, the Ukrainian government established new FIT compensation rules; in early 2016, it approved the new feed-in premium rules for domestic content. It seems to have given a new push to Ukrainian renewable development.
“After the establishment of the new tariff rules a year ago, we witnessed the beginning of the new renaissance in the Ukrainian renewable energy sector,” Vitaliy Daviy, CEO of Innovative Business Centre (IBCentre), the organizer of SEF-2016, told pv magazine in a recent interview. “Today, we clearly see the interest of some new investors from the U.S., some European countries and especially from Turkey.”
In the first six months of 2016, 14 renewable energy plants totaling 39 MW went online in Ukraine, representing a total investment of over €42 million ($46.9 million). 12 out of the 14 newly developed projects are solar power plants with a total capacity of 37 MW; the remaining two are biofuel facilities. 22.2 MW of PV projects have been developed by Podilskiy Energoconsulting based in Vinnitsa, in central Ukraine.
According to the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, 34 more solar plants totaling over 120 MW are to be completed in the second half of the year. Seven of these projects will have a capacity of 5 MW or more. The new feed-in tariffs in Ukraine are providing incentives for many solar developers to target completing projects by the end of this year.
“While international developers are starting to show their interest in Ukraine, several domestic companies keep actively increasing their market share, said Daviy: “Since 2015, the leaders of the Ukrainian solar industry have managed to enhance their positions. For instance, Ukrainian solar developer Rentechno is about to launch a number of solar plants totaling 6 MW. The company is also planing to finish two larger objects, 3.5 MW each, by the end of the year.”
The report elaborated:
“Ukrainian EPC contractor Podilskiy Energoconsulting is expected to complete 53.3 MW of new solar facilities in 2016. The company is about to complete 38 MW of PV plants in the Vinnitsa region.
“Another strong domestic player, Kiev-based Ukrainian Solar Systems LLC, is preparing to launch a 1.7 MW facility in the Dnepropetrovsk region, which will be the first tracking solar plant in Ukraine. “A Ukrainian producer of solar module mounting systems, Ukrainian Systems Solar, has taken a strong position in the domestic market and recently started exporting its solutions to other countries, such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Romania,” says Daviy.
“According to the SEF-2016 KYIV report, another Ukrainian company, Solar Steel Construction, based in Dnepropetrovk, is working on a 4.1 MW PV project in the Ivano-Frankivsk region of western Ukraine. One more PV plant with a capacity of 18.3 MW is being developed in the same region by U.S.-based Paradigma Invest Group. Last week, a Germany-based solar developer Work Team s.r.o. announced completion of a 4 MW PV facility in Vysokopillya, in southern Ukraine.”
On the optimistic side, the Ukrainian government also announced plans to turn Chernobyl’s nuclear wasteland into a large-scale solar farm. This exclusion zone covers more than 200,000 hectares and has a complete high-voltage grid infrastructure fit for renewable energy generation.
Chernobyl’s solar future as well as other state initiatives, latest trends, legislative changes, investment and financing programs in the Ukrainian renewable energy sector are expected to be discussed at the SEF-2016 KYIV-8th International Forum of Sustainable Energy, scheduled in Kiev October 11-12.
Image via Shutterstock
Don’t plants, trees and natural vegetation help cleanup the radiation over time? I’m all for solar power, but perhaps it’s better to allow nature to slowly neutralize the radiation. It will take 100 years, but if you cut the trees and natural vegetation down, to put solar panels down on a giant solar power plant, it might never happen. I’m all for building giant solar power plants, to displace dirty coal and natural gas, and provide clean energy, but in this case, I hope it doesn’t undermine the forces of nature, that are necessary to mitigate the harmful radiation over time.