Ukraine stimulates investments of European solar companies

2/1/17, 1:30 PM -

Expert interview: Hans-Josef Fell, President at Energy Watch Group sees a very dynamic deployment of solar and other renewables in the Ukraine. As a challenge, he estimates the persisting corruption.

The Ukrainian government stimulates the foreign renewable investment with lucrative feed-in tariffs and active support on approval questions, Hans-Josef Fell says.

pv Europe: How do you assess the renewable and PV market development in the Ukraine?

Hans-Josef Fell: Some three years ago the renewable energy market in Ukraine was developing quite slowly. But, last year, the deployment of renewables in the country has significantly accelerated and is very dynamic at the moment, in particular in the bioenergy, solar PV and wind sector. The feed-in-tariff in Ukraine has started stimulating investments especially in the solar energy sector. In 2014, only 100 KW of solar energy was installed on the private roofs in Ukraine, meanwhile at the end of 2016, this figure has reached 10 MW. Also last year, the Ukrainian government announced plans to install 4G W of solar energy in the Chernobyl’s nuclear wasteland and many international companies are currently applying to become part of this project. 

What are the market drivers?

The main market drivers are the government’s strong motivation to achieve independence from energy supplies, especially of natural gas and oil, from Russia, as well as a serious commitment for climate protection. Ukraine has ratified the historical Paris Agreement early enough, before the former climate change leaders Germany and the EU. 

Do you see a growing awareness for solar and renewable energies in the country?

Yes, especially in the Ukrainian communities and municipalities we can see a growing awareness on the economic and social benefits of renewable energy. There is a growing number of projects as well as small and medium businesses working on bioenergy, solar energy, combined heat and power and biofuels.

How important are investments from European solar and renewable companies in the Ukraine?

Ukraine expects strong investment from the European and German renewable energy companies due to their high technical standards. The Ukrainian government stimulates this investment with lucrative feed-in tariffs and active support on approval questions.

What are inhibiting factors? Is legal security, bureaucracy and corruption or the war in the Eastern Ukraine not still a problem?

Unfortunately, the most important obstacles for the renewable energy sector in Ukraine have not yet been ruled out. Legal security is already there, but the persisting corruption leads to uncertainties in the financial sector and the resistance of the oligarchs profiting from the fossil fuel and nuclear economy in Ukraine.

Interviewed by Hans-Christoph Neidlein

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