Ukraine can become a better supplier of raw materials and components for future technologies for Europe than China, Vice-President of the European Commission for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight Maroš Šefčovič has said.
“I think you can do better than China. I understand the President, the Prime Minister and your business leaders who want to ensure that Ukraine builds an entire vertically integrated value chain around critical raw materials and that as much value added as possible remains in Ukraine […] Ukraine clearly could be the key supplier of raw materials and components for these future technologies for Europe,” Šefčovič said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
Acting Energy Minister Olha Buslavets intends to sign in Germany a memorandum on a new energy partnership, providing for the development of hydrogen technologies in Ukraine, said chairman of the Ukrainian Hydrogen Council Association Oleksandr Repkin.
“On August 25-27, head of the Ministry of Energy Olha Buslavets will visit Germany, where it is planned to sign a memorandum on a new energy partnership, of which hydrogen energy is a part. Ukraine is going there to propose certain pilot projects with a scale of 100 MW, similar to the project being implemented in Morocco – a solar-hydrogen plant with a capacity of 100 MW,”Repkin said during an online discussion on the prospects for the development of hydrogen energy in Ukraine, organized by the energy committee of the Ukrainian Venture Capital Association on Tuesday.
He said Germany considered that it would not have enough of its own resources for the production of renewable hydrogen, therefore it considers Ukraine as a partner for obtaining this resource.
He also announced on August 14 the first meeting of the expert working group under the Ministry of Energy under his leadership, at which, in particular, the issue of adapting Ukraine’s energy strategy regarding hydrogen technologies will be considered.
“We are starting concrete steps to keep up with the EU countries,” Repkin said.
He also noted that according to the European Hydrogen Strategy, recently presented by the Executive Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, Europe regards Ukraine as a partner, but it is necessary to develop the internal hydrogen market for this.
“In Europe, they see us as a 10GW partner. What does this mean? There is such an opportunity, and they will support us. But there is one thing, which is not spelled out, but it is said. They will support only those countries that create an internal hydrogen market in their country. “Timmermans made it clear: friends, we are ready to help you with 7.5 GW so that you create and import them, but for 2.5 GW you must create your own market,” Repkin said, noting that by the end of 2023, “We are expected to half a million tonnes of import of renewable hydrogen, and in the future – 3 million tonnes annually.”
According to him, in order to enter the European market in Ukraine, conditions must be provided, in particular for the use of hydrogen transport, there must also be the use of hydrogen in the metallurgical and chemical industries.
He said that in Ukraine there is already an example of the construction of the first hydrogen filling station in partnership with the Danes.
“Entrepreneurs from Kharkiv have joined our association. Their idea is to convert all public transport to hydrogen,” said the head of the association.
At the same time, he predicted that the development of hydrogen technologies in the country will proceed more actively than expected.
As reported, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that Ukraine can become a reliable supplier of hydrogen to the EU, in particular to Germany.
In July, the European Union adopted a strategy for the introduction of renewable hydrogen. It involves the addition of an integrated energy system with a massive industrial production of renewable hydrogen. It can serve as a source of energy where the use of electricity is difficult. In the future, it will be produced mainly using wind and solar energy.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said about his vision of how to make Ukraine the really rich country and called on business to invest money, time and ideas in Ukraine.
“We are carefully studying the experience of countries that are successful. We understand that they, first of all, invested in education, technology and infrastructure. Ukraine will do the same. Therefore, the role of the state in the economy in the next five years will be reduced to three things: do not interfere business; to build an excellent infrastructure for business and create conditions for doing business in Ukraine was simply convenient; third, focus on education, science and technology,” he said at a meeting with the business community in Kyiv.
Zelensky said that he was not used to catching up, therefore he is looking for creative breakthrough and innovative solutions for Ukraine with his team, and will tell more about them in the near future.
The president said that “to turn from a poor country into a middle-income country is not so difficult.” “The recipes are simple, success stories are known. All these is a mandatory program for us, and we will do it in the next five years,” he said.
At the same time, Zelensky is convinced that Ukraine needs to become a “truly rich country.”
“According to the World Bank, in 1960 there were 101 countries that are developing, and only 13 of them were able to become developed rich countries. In addition, most of them did it at the expense of natural resources. Economists have a special term: “middle income trap.” Its essence is very simple: poor countries compete with cheap labor. As soon as a country receives an average level of income, competitive advantages disappear and the country ceases to develop rapidly. According to this scenario, the country almost never becomes rich, the highest level is “medium,” he explained.
“Half a year ago I decided to invest the most precious thing I have – my time – in Ukraine. I urge you to do the same: invest time, money, ideas in Ukraine. Let’s change Ukraine together!” Zelensky said, addressing business at the end of his speech.