Innovations in the energy sector of Ukraine

On April 30, the ENERGY CLUB held an online meeting of the Ukrainian energy industry-leading stakeholders. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the introduction of innovations, which is especially important in the context of the energy crisis.

Business representatives shared their vision of solutions for painful problems, such as an imbalance in the production/consumption of electricity, lack of energy storage sector, the crisis in the nuclear industry, and so on. Also, the rectors and scientists of leading universities in Kharkiv, Dnieper, Kyiv, and Ivano-Frankivsk spoke at the online conference.

The energy departments of universities not only train professionals for the future of modernized and transformed energy but also actively participate in the development and implementation of innovations necessary for the Ukrainian economy.

Mikola Savitsky, a doctor of technical sciences and professor of the Prydniprovska State Academy of Civil Engineering and Architecture, outlined the main social processes that need to be considered today when developing sustainable energy:

  • Decentralization (administrative-territorial reform). The term “self-sufficient territorial community” introducing, which concentrates all the processes of social change;
  • Deurbanization is a reduction in the population of large cities and their production potential (the process has already begun in developed countries). A global pandemic will accelerate the transition from urbanization to deurbanization;
  • Renewable energy development. Stable energy is green energy.

How to modify the energy sector or what to do when the Ukrainian energy crisis?

One of the most effective tools to overcome difficulties is the introduction of innovations in the energy industry. For example, digitalization and cybersecurity are just some of the main points of innovation. Recall that today Ukraine one of the leading countries in the number of cyberattacks on the energy system.

The first decisive steps must be taken in three directions:

  • the formation of a balancing electricity market;
  • introduction of the mechanism of energy decentralization;
  • the creation of small distributed generation, small energy cooperatives.

Innovations in the Solar Energy Sector

As to solar energy, CEO Avenston Dmytro Lukomskyi noted that despite the rapid increase in capacity over the past few years, the development of this segment occurred without any innovation from Ukraine. Ukrainian companies completely repeated the processes that took place outside our country. It’s time to think about the transformation of this sphere and the implementation of our innovations.

«In Ukraine, solar energy developed rapidly enough, new capacities tripled annually. But the market was regulated by the only mechanism of state support by a green tariff. Unfortunately, not everything was foreseen, and today we have many problems. The de facto development of the solar energy market in Ukraine has stopped. Many owners of solar power plants faced with non-payments for the supplied electricity and shutdown due to a decrease in demand for electricity.

State support is an effective tool but not eternal. The market must become efficient, and technology must develop independently. Innovation and technological development around the world contribute to lowering the cost of solar energy and increasing its economic efficiency.

In Ukraine, the payback period for solar power plants for self-consumption is less than 10 years, with a lifetime of 20-25 years. According to forecasts, the cost of traditional electricity will increase, therefore, when taking into account the energy independence of both individual enterprises, and the country as a whole, you can see many incentives for the development of solar energy. So the number of projects for self-consumption will increase even without the green tariff»said Dmytro Lukomskyi.

And yet, speaking about market efficiency and innovation, Dmytro Lukomskyi especially emphasized that it is important to reckon with those projects that already built. Large industrial solar power plants still have unresolved issues, both technical and financial.

The introduction of forecasting systems will be a useful innovation for large industrial power plants, will make it possible to make predictions of the insolation level, and effectively regulate the PV-generation. Another working solution is the introduction of energy storage systems. According to Dmytro, reducing the cost of energy storage systems will be a powerful impetus for renewable energy development.

What holds back the development of the energy storage sector?

Answering channel 112’s question about what is holding back the development of the energy storage sector, Dmytro Lukomskyi pointed out the high cost of equipment:

«It is necessary to stimulate the implementation of these projects. Otherwise, the development of energy storage in Ukraine will occur rather slowly. Businesses are not interested in investing heavily in relatively expensive technology. There are two options: wait until energy storage technologies become cheaper and become effective in our market, or introduce state support mechanisms to stimulate the implementation of such projects»remarked Dmytro Lukomskyi.

Social, environmental, and economic processes all over the world are lead mankind to the decentralization and self-sufficiency of the territorial communities. The world will change, and traditional energy will cease to exist. And solar energy will take its place of honor in the future energy system!

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