SEF 2019 Kyiv: Renewable energy as driver of decarbonising the global economy

11/8/19, 11:29 AM -

11th Sustainable Energy Forum and Trade Show of Central and Eastern Europe SEF 2019 in Kyiv showcased the latest trends in renewables and solar in the Ukraine and globally.

The SEF 2019 KYIV Forum, that took place in the capital of the Ukraine.
The SEF 2019 KYIV Forum, that took place in the capital of the Ukraine.

„Decarbonising the world’s economy is not possible without the global development of renewable energy, so all that the green generation’s opponents can do now is only to slow down the industry’s development. This process can’t be stopped anymore, because the point of no return was passed 5 years ago, when for the first time green electricity became cheaper than electricity from traditional sources in Europe and the USA“. Vitaliy Daviy, Director of IB Centre Europe, confidently stated this while commenting on the results of the 11th Sustainable Energy Forum and Trade Show of Central and Eastern Europe SEF 2019 Kyiv.

“The need to slow down the development of renewable energy is currently being actively discussed in Ukraine. However, all the resistance being demonstrated today is the last attempt to stand up to the progress and maintain the well-established decades-old financial models. These people don’t want to change anything; they just want to make money with no emotions about the environmental impact – they don’t care about it. But the world has already changed and rapid development of the cutting-edge energy industry is a process that can be slowed down, but can’t be stopped anymore,” stated Vitaliy Daviy.

At the same time, according to the expert, the Ukrainian market is currently one of the most attractive in Europe, and therefore it is important to formulate clear guaranteed rules for “the game”, in particular, for the transition from the “green” tariffs to the auction system.

Protect the investment environment in the Ukrainian market

In addition to discussing the possibility of turbulent changes in industry-specific legislation, the participants of SEF 2019 Kyiv were also focused on decarbonisation and use of blockchain technologies as part of the latest energy models.In particular, it became known during the SEF 2019 Forum that the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine planned to create a separate working group with green energy investors to protect the investment environment in the Ukrainian market.

Olexiy Riabchyn, Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection at the SEF 2019 KYIV Forum

 “Investors invest money, pay taxes, so we must jointly find a way out of the current market situation (note: the initiatives to introduce quotas for renewable energy facilities and tariff changes). The energy trilemma means simultaneously achieving resource security, its cost-effectiveness, and environmental friendliness. All these elements need to be balanced, and this requires financial support. And it is one of the challenges we are actively working on at the Ministry,” Deputy Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection, Olexiy Riabchyn stated during his speech at the SEF 2019 KYIV Forum.

Digitize the energy infrastructure

The global green energy trends in the economy were illustrated with the speech of the Ambassador of the Italian Republic in Ukraine, Mr. Davide La Ceicilia, who noted that Italy continued to support the Paris Agreement as a necessary and irreversible process, and to fully implement it. “We have proposed to catalyze the energy transition through digitization of the energy system, which aims at digitizing the energy infrastructure and promoting the rapid growth in energy efficiency. Renewable energy will play a leading role in this system,” added David La Ceicilia.

EUR 4 billion invested in the Ukrainian green energy sector

Head at State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine Serhiy Savchuk said during his speech that EUR 4 billion which have been invested in Ukraine’s green energy sector over the last 5 years highlight how attractive and promising projects in the field of sustainable energy of Ukraine are. According to him, investments in renewable energy projects also give an impetus to activation economic processes, and this trend should be further strengthened in future.

 “An important sign that the state policy for the development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency will continue to improve is that the governmental body that implement the state strategy in this field has entered the coordinate system of the joint ministry (note: the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection), which is now responsible for both energy sector and the environment,” Serhiy Savchuk added.

Head at State Agency on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine, Serhiy Savchuk, at the SEF 2019 KYIV Forum.

According to the data provided by “Guaranteed Buyer” State Enterprise at the Forum, the organization has already signed 468 bilateral electricity purchase agreements (PPA)  with electricity producers at the “green” tariff; according to its concluded prePPA contracts, it has got the total installed capacity of over 1900 MW. This was reported by Konstiantyn Petrykovets, Director of “Guaranteed Buyer” State Enterprise, during his speech.

“A significant factor for sustainable development is combining it with development and implementation of high-tech facilities to provide cold reserves, which contributes to maintaining the system’s balance reliability,” – Konstiantyn Petrykovets emphasized.

 “We can’t say that the “green” tariff is high in Ukraine today, as we have not taken into account that free connection to the grid for many green energy producers is available in many countries, as well as creating favorable conditions that simplify the procedure and reduce project development costs. Ukraine can cut the “green” tariff by lowering the grid connection cost and also improve conditions for obtaining a building permit,” Andriy Konechenkov, Vice-President of the World Wind Energy Association, said.

Coal exit in the Ukraine possible by 2025

Serhiy Shakalov, CEO at KNESS company, which is one of the major players in Ukraine’s renewable energy market, has an opinion that Ukraine can refuse from coal generation as early as summer 2025. Also he focused on the issue of balancing the energy system.

 “We have to divide the balancing into several types: daily balancing, weekly balancing and seasonal balancing. At present, Ukraine badly needs balancing the system within a day. Electrochemical batteries can solve this issue, but without governmental support, this business will have no prospects,” Serhiy Shakalov stressed during his speech at the SEF 2019 KYIV Forum.

He also added that hydrogen technologies – hydrogen transport and a system of adding up to 5% of the “green” hydrogen in the gas grid – should be used for weekly balancing. And in the case of seasonal balancing, hydrogen technologies for fuel, which will completely replace gas, coal and oil, can be used.

However, the implementation of new generation technologies has to take place even today; otherwise Ukraine can be left on the margins of the energy progress very quickly.

General Director of Block Master Ukraine, LLC, Vitaliy Tymoshchenko, said: “The climate situation shows that we can’t just wait for changes and getting investments in the renewable energy sector. Our task is to create such mechanisms and means of influencing the situation so that the path to energy independence and “green” energy become a single option for us”.

From green tariffs to green auctions

Philip Lekebush, CEO of DTEK RES, focused in his speech on the issue of effective transition from the system of “green” tariffs to the “green” auctions.

 “Ukraine has a unique advantage today. By catching up with the European renewable energy leaders, the country can adopt the best practices. As a result, it will implement the most efficient system and benefit from lower prices for renewable energy sources for the needs of Ukraine,” said Philip Lekebusch.

Renewable energy development plan

According to Avenston’s CEO Dmytro Lukomskyy, the new national renewable energy development plan by 2030 should reflect Ukraine’s maximum technically and economically efforts to increase the share of renewable energy sources, and, in addition, to the results achieved into consideration.

He said that the energy strategy of Ukraine that aims at reaching 25% of green energy generation should be restored and captured in legislation. In addition, a separate renewable energy development strategy should to be worked out for Ukraine taking into account all weak spots in its infrastructure.

The 11th Sustainable Energy Forum and Trade Show of Central and Eastern Europe, SEF 2019 KYIV, brought together over 600 delegates, company owners and top managers, and more than 70 speakers from 39 countries. 130 Ukrainian and international companies were exhibitors at the SEF 2019 Trade Show.

The next industry event from IB Centre is the 9th International Conference and Trade Show of Solar Energy Industry in Central and Eastern Europe – CISOLAR 2020 that will be held in Kyiv on April 7-9, 2020. (HCN)