Alternative Energy Ups Ukraine's Energy Independence - Industry Expert

Dec 12, 2012, 05:57 ET from Worldwide News Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine, December 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

The use of renewable energy will allow to significantly cut the volume of energy import in Ukraine, as well as strengthen the independence of the country, reckons Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, the President of the European Renewable Energy Federation.

Renewable energy constitutes the inner market resource that allows to be independent from anyone else, emphasized Hinrichs-Rahlwes during his visit to Ukraine. The development of renewable energy resources will also become one of the cornerstones of the EU energy independence, he continued. In 2009, the EU imported more than half of the energy it consumed. By 2050, the entity aims at reducing energy import to less than 40 percent.

In October 2012, Ukraine made a commitment to the European Energy Community to increase renewable energy share in its energy balance up to 11 percent by 2020. The respective EU Directive 2009/28/EC concerns the energy consumption of nine European states and regions. Additionally, the State Energy Strategy for 2030 stipulates that Ukraine may produce up to 19 percent of energy from renewable energy sources (RES) by 2030. Notably, in 2009, the estimated RES share in Ukraine amounted to 5.8 percent.

In line with the State Energy Strategy for 2030, Ukraine launched its largest wind power station on October 4th 2012. So far, 19 wind turbines have been installed and became operational. An additional 11 turbines will be installed by the end of 2012. The projected capacity of the station could amount to 200 MW by the end of 2013.

Another advancement for Ukraine is expected in the solar energy sector. Macquarie Research forecasted that Ukraine would increase its overall solar energy production by 400 MW up to 600 MW in 2012. By 2016, Ukraine will introduce solar power plants with the capacity of 1.8 GW - an equivalent of two nuclear reactors, estimates the research company. Currently, Ukraine has 15 nuclear reactors generating about half of its electricity.

SOURCE Worldwide News Ukraine