On December 5, 2019, at 10:00, a press conference initiated by the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency regarding the future of bioenergy projects in Ukraine took place at the press center of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
Oleksandra Gumeniuk – Director of European-Ukrainian Energy Agency (EUEA)
Max Lebedev – Member of the Board of European-Ukrainian Energy Agency, Partner of GOLAW
Michael Rutherford – Development Director of Khmelnytskyi Biofuel Power Plant (KBPP)
Georgy Geletukha – Chairman of the Board of the Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (BAU)
In May 2019, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a law “On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine on Ensuring Competitive Conditions for Generation of Electricity from Alternative Energy Sources”, which substantially changes the rules of the game for the participants of the green energy market. According to the provisions of this law, as of January 1, 2020, entities implementing renewable energy projects (RES) will be able to obtain state support only if they participate in the auction with the support quota allocation and only if they win.
The Ministry of Energy recently issued indicative state support quotas for auctions, which will total around 50 MW per year for biomass, biogas and small hydropower producers.
Such small quotas, experts warn, make it impossible to implement large projects and lead to an outflow of investors who have already entered the market. Foreign investors who have already invested heavily in the development of bioenergy projects in Ukraine will have to abandon their plans due to the inability to obtain guaranteed state support. As a result, the development of biomass electricity production may stop altogether, and projects that are already underway will be frozen.
One of the examples is the Khmelnytskyi biofuel power plant. A group of foreign investors from Ireland and the UK is planning to build a 46 MW bio-power plant that will produce biomass electricity. The project is now in its final stages and is awaiting the first auction to secure funding. The investor has already invested 1.4 million euros in its implementation. In the future, the investor group intends to build 10 more similar stations in other regions of Ukraine, investing more than $2 billion in them and creating 5 thousand new jobs.
However, these intentions may not be realized, as the quotas proposed by the Government do not allow even one project to potentially obtain the necessary quota of state support.
This provision, say representatives of the KBPP, could cause a situation where large-scale biomass projects will not be able to obtain the necessary capacity, which will block the development of the projects needed for the grid.
Market experts also say that compared to other sources of alternative energy, biomass is the most efficient and solves a number of problems typical of solar and wind plants. In particular, it enables uninterrupted power generation in 24/7 mode, efficient use of farm by-products, opening up sources of additional income for farmers and balancing the grid.
Therefore, this industry needs additional support from the state, and therefore they propose to consider increasing the quota or introducing an additional quota for stable generation facilities.
«What we are calling for are levels of quotas which are sufficient to allow the biomass sector to attract investment at a suitable scale to assist with the balancing issues the country is facing whilst also providing jobs and economic prosperity» – emphasized Michael Rutherford, Development Director of Khmelnytskyi Biofuel Power Plant.
European-Ukrainian Energy Agency, established in 2009, unites investors from Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the USA and other countries that implement renewable energy projects in Ukraine using solar, wind and bio-energy (around 2 GW of operational renewable power plants, 0.5 GW under construction, 2 GW with signed pre-PPAs). http://euea-energyagency.org/.
Video of the press conference is here
Kharkiv IT Cluster predicts a 25% increase in the IT industry in the region by the end of 2019. “According to the dynamics of the last two years, in 2019 we expect growth in the industry in the region by at least 25% compared with the results of 2018,” Kharkiv IT Cluster CEO Olha Shapoval said, commenting on the results of Kharkiv IT Research 2.0.
According to Kharkiv IT Research 2.0, the demand for experts in the field of information technology in 2019 also exceeds the supply: the companies’ need for specialists is 1.5 times higher than the number of graduates (Kharkiv universities annually graduate more than 2,000 young specialists only in specialized fields).
The authors of the study noted the growing popularity of non-formal education, as well as the creation of corporate training centers within companies that are ready to invest in youth training.
According to the study, by the end of 2018 the IT industry in the region had about 480 service and product companies, and the number of IT specialists exceeded 31,000 people.
In general, according to Kharkiv IT Research 2.0, the IT industry in Kharkiv in quantitative terms grew by 24%, and the total volume reached $962 million in 2018, ensuring a growth of 20%.
The Bioenergy Association of Ukraine (BAU), together with the associations uniting the leading producers of electricity from renewable energy sources, have addressed President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky regarding the situation with the payment for purchased electricity from alternative sources at a feed-in tariff. According to the press service of the BAU, the decisions of the Kyiv District Administrative Court to suspend the decisions of the National Commission for Energy, Housing and Utilities Services Regulation (NCER), which set tariffs for electricity transmission for Ukrenergo, will lead to non-payments to producers of electricity from renewable sources.
The letter also emphasizes that the decision of the Kyiv District Administrative Court to satisfy the claim of Nikopol Ferroalloy Plant to secure the claim against the NCER will lead to a halt in building new renewable energy facilities, a failure to comply with the obligations to financial institutions. In addition, it will damage the investment attractiveness of Ukraine and freeze the development of the renewable energy industry.
“We are asking to support the strategic development of the renewable energy industry in Ukraine and prevent the deterioration of the investment climate due to the violation of the guarantees provided by the state,” the letter reads.
The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the action plan to support software industry of Ukraine for 2018.
According to government resolution No. 344 dated May 23, the plan includes designing of software for e-health and support of the implementation of the dual education projects on the basis of universities to practice software engineering under the bachelor’s programs.
The plan envisages the promotion of the increase in cybersecurity, popularization of the introduction of protected operation systems designed in Ukraine, harmonization of international standards in the sphere of information protection and information security.
In addition, Ukraine will invite representatives of leading analytical agencies to analyze information technologies for establishing connections and analyzing the potential of development of newest information technologies.