Insights and Opportunities
Overview: Ukraine’s use of renewable energy sources accounts for about 8% of its electricity generation but less then 3 % of the total energy consumption with the main part of about 75% being contributed by large hydro-power plants. Meanwhile Ukraine has a huge potential of Renewable energy resources of almost all the types (solar, wind, biomass, biofuel, geothermal and micro hydropower). Tapping this resource promise a great potential in line with worlds trend for using Renewable energy and in consideration of Kyoto protocol, which was signed by Ukraine among other countries.
Ukraine government has made several crucial steps to recognize the Renewable energy potential by declaring in 1996 a program targeted at achieving by 2010, 10% of total Ukraine energy consumption being produced by means of Renewable and “non-traditional” energy. Following it there was a presidential bill signed in 2001 providing taxation rebate for the companies developing solar, wind and geothermal projects. The current national program envisions achieving the use of Renewable energy sources at the rate of 10 billion kWh of electricity by 2010, which is comparable with targets set by some of European countries. Though high bureaucracy, lack of financing and transparency in energy sector remain the main impediments for Renewable energy sector development there is an obvious tendency of Ukrainian government for developing this field with Ukrainian Parliament working on developing a law on tax incentives for using renewable and energy-efficient technologies.
Wind Power: Ukraine as most of industrial countries observes development of wind energy usage in the large and medium capacity windmills installation. Compared with any other Newly Independent States, Ukraine is way ahead in wind power usage. Total installed capacity has now reached over 51 MW, and installation is still continuing with domestic manufacturing facilities being established. Over 80 million kWh of electricity have been produced since the first Ukrainian wind farm came into operation. A strong wind power industry support was given by a Ukrainian government Law issued in 1996 in the form of Complex Wind Farms Construction Program with a target of 1990 MW of capacity to be installed by 2010. Twenty three Ukrainian plants are involved in production of the USW 56-100, with the Yuzhmash factory responsible for the assembly. The turbine is based on a design frm the American company US Wind power, which successfully installed many thousands of similar machines in California during the 1980s and early 1990s. Still new generation technologies are required to enhance higher efficiency of wind power generators. Ukraine is striving for 100% components for windmills are manufactured in the country giving a big opportunity for launching manufacturing on the basis of Soviet industrial parks. Nowadays 10 turbines of USW 56-100 are produced monthly in Ukraine. Among operating wind power stations are Donuzlav WPS with installed capacity of 10.7 MW, Saki WPS – 2.5 MW, Novoazovsk WPS – 3.3 MW and Truskavets WPS – 0.75 MW.
Another potential segment for wind power generating is installing small-capacity windmills up to 20 kW for the needs of agriculture sector which is estimated to have the potential to cover all agriculture and upcountry land electricity demands. The most promising areas for locating windmills are those with the average wind speed of 5 meters per second, namely: Black Sea and Azov Sea coastline, Odesa, Kherson, Zaporizha, Donetsk, Luhansk, Mykolaiv regions as well as in the mountainous regions of Carpathinans and Crimea. The Crimean coasts make Ukraine second after Norway among countries possessing shallow water areas that are suitable for large wind farms and can account for 1,000 MW out of total 5,000 MW capacity of wind generation potential estimated in Ukraine. Crimea potential alone is sufficient to generate more than 42 billion kWh/year of electricity. Still if Ukraine covers targeted capacity of 1900 MW by 2010 it will constitute only a part of what is being produced by many of European countries.
Solar Power: Period of sun shining at the territory of Ukraine is 1900-2400 hr/yr, and total average annual solar radiation varies frm 1070 kWh/m in northern part of Ukraine to 1400 kWh/m in southern part. Existing programs for energy development envisages increasing use of solar energy mainly for local hot water supply in summer season. Potential of solar energy for heat production is estimated at about 32 TW. Climatic conditions of Ukraine allow also to use solar energy for the heating of buildings, creation of year-round centralized district heating systems with seasonal heat storage. Such technical solutions have been already realized in many countries located much more to the North than Ukraine. When using solar collectors (counting 3.9 m /capita) and 400 kWh annual heat production by 1 m of solar collector, potential of solar energy for heat production is almost 75 TW/year. In present investigation rate for the installation of solar collectors for the period till 2030 is accepted in accordance with accelerating rate in 2030-2050.
On the contrary to wind energy generators the photovoltaic systems could be installed on all the territory of Ukraine as Ukraine has a quite favorable solar harvesting climate with the average solar insulation per square meter per day of 1.5 to 2.7 kWh increasing frm northwest to southeast. The most effective areas are located at Crimean peninsula, especially at eastern coastline.
Nowadays, though, there is a limited use of direct solar energy in Ukraine. There are about dozen enterprises in Ukraine producing solar collectors. It is estimated that the total solar collector surface installed in Ukraine is around 10,000 square meters with installed capacity of 5-8 MW/h. Most of them are flat plate collectors for water and space heating and preheating saving 8 to 10% of energy in multi-store buildings, farms and manufacturing facilities. The main barrier for using solar energy is an economic one. The Ukrainian economy can’t mobilize any considerable investments in some projects on using solar energy. At the same time there is a growth on the national level of understanding of the fact that under conditions of own resources shortage it is necessary to develop the alternative energy sources.
Still there is big potential for solar energy use in private residential and small recreation business. Private construction boom in Kyiv suburbs with cottage cities number growing significantly provides a good potential for using solar collectors and photovoltaic as gas price increased 3 times for the last four years and installing electrical heating systems in cottages is limited by cottage city electric grid capacity. In Ukraine technical potential of solar energy for power production is estimated at about 16 TW/yr that makes up in average about 3.3 m² of PV batteries per capita with the production of about 100 kWh/m²/year. Provided that a dwelling is equipped with modern and promising energy saving household appliances, indicated volume of power production could satisfy necessary household needs.
Small hydropower: By potential hydro resources Ukraine is not on the leading place among the CIS countries, but the extent of developed hydropower economical potential is rather high. Average annual hydropower generation in Ukraine amounts to 10.7 billion kWh, meeting 7% of the power system demand in electricity. Existing Hydro Power Plants operating in Ukraine are listed in the table. Still the potential of small Hydro-Plants (with capacity below 30 MW) is estimated of 2300-2400 MW (or 12 to 12.5 billion kWh) excluding the potential of using micro hydro-systems and potential of technical water supply systems. This constitutes about 28% of total hydro-potential of all Ukrainian rivers. Besides being cheap the way of producing energy by hydro-plants is characterized by positive economic and ecologic effect as it excludes burning processes. Major part of hydro resources (including small HPPs) is concentrated in the Central and Western Ukraine on the Dnieper, Dniester, Yuzhny Bug and Tisa Rivers. The Dnieper river basin is the most developed. Programs of small hydropower development in Ukraine include reconstruction and renovation of previously constructed small HPPs, adding small HPPs to water management projects with already existing water-retaining structures with the aim of utilizing waste releases.
Biomass: At present, the contribution of biomass to Ukraine’s energy supply is about 0.5%. Only about 0.7 million toes (tons of oil equivalent) are currently used primarily firewood for domestic purposes as well as for fuel in forestry and wood processing enterprises. However, studies have suggested that biomass sources could provide at least six times more to Ukraine’s energy mix and potentially ten times or greater. The Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine in Kyiv, for example, has suggested that biomass in Ukraine could satisfy as much as nine% of the country’s primary energy use. In fact, almost all energy now produced frm biomass comes frm the combustion of wood residues, including that used in domestic wood stoves and wood-fired boilers at Ukrainian timber enterprises. During the past five years, a small number of modern biomass plants have begun operating such as the 5 MW steam wood-fired boiler at the Odek Ukraine plywood factory in the town of Orzhiv. However, no biomass plants are yet operating in Ukraine to produce power for the electrical grid or large district energy systems - a fact due in part to the high cost of boilers purchased frm foreign manufacturers and the still limited availability of significantly less expensive, domestically produced equipment. One firm “Zhitomirrempischemash” in the town of Zhitomir, though, is producing hot water wood-fired boilers in the range of 40-820 kW that cost one-sixth the price of similar boilers of foreign producers. Ukraine is well positioned to grow biomass commercially.
With some of the best farmland in the world, Ukraine has the natural resources to produce a variety of energy crops that could be used for direct combustion as well as conversion into ethanol and biodiesel fuels. Commercially grown energy crops offer a win-win-win situation. In addition to expanding the agricultural market and economically stimulating rural Ukraine, biomass production would reduce reliance on energy imports and farmers’ vulnerability to speculative seasonal energy prices while yielding fuels that burn cleanlier. For instance, boilers converted for the combustion of husks of sunflower seeds are already in operation at some oil extraction plants. Another crop, straw, can be used as a fuel in farm boilers, small district heating plants (e.g., (0.1 - 1 MW) and combined heat and power facilities. The energy potential of straw available for energy production has been estimated to be 20 Mt/a, if not considerably higher.
Biogas: In addition, the energy that could be provided by biogas derived frm the manure of cattle, pigs, and poultry simultaneously has been estimated to be in the same range (i.e., 1.1 - 1.6 million toe). Energy analysts have suggested that it is possible to construct about 3000 biogas plants in Ukraine - each with an average digester volume of 1000 cubic meters, including 295 biogas plants at hog raising plants, 130 biogas plants at poultry plants, and 2478 biogas plants at cattle raising farms and other food industry enterprises. “Agro-Oven” pig farm in Dnepropetrovsk area is the only operating biogas station producing electricity frm biogas. Launched in 2003 it has an installed capacity of utilizing 80 tons of pigs manure daily. Another big area for biogas technologies is extracting biogas frm waste fields of major cities. A pilot project is launched in Luhansk solid wastes field where 3 boreholes produce 90 cubic meters per hour with methane share of 60 %. The total field area allows 30 boreholes to be drilled and predicted gas output suggests building an electricity generation plant of 1.5 MW capacity. The total potential of wasteland gas on Ukrainian solid wastes fields is estimated to be 288 million cubic meters. Ukraine cities produce around 10 million tons of solid wastes per year, which is accumulated on the countryside 10-20 kilometers frm the cities. Out of 140 biggest wastelands 90 biggest are the most promising in terms of extracting and utilizing of wasteland gas.
Bio-fuel: A special attention is given to manufacturing liquid fuels out of biomass. The growth for mineral oil price observed during 2005 made bio-fuels manufacturing quite competitive and this appears to be one of the most potential untapped Renewable energy sources for Ukraine. In December 2006 the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has approved the program for development of biodiesel in Ukraine. Program is targeted to create sources of supplying Ukrainian agrarians with stable prices fuel, form agrarians vegetable recourses guaranteed sale market and shorten energy sources import. Program main tasks are promotion of diesel biofuel plants construction, creation of intensified rape growing zones, assuring of agrarian’s rape (necessary for biofuel output) guaranteed sales and rape cultivation lands optimization. In the nearest future Ukraine can leave behind all NIS countries, having realized new born projects on the development of biodiesel industry. Experts say that as much as 30% of automotive fuel could consist of all additives to traditional gasoline. Analysts singled out rapeseed, a crop with high oil content, as one of the best prospects for biofuels in Ukraine.
Agricultural conditions for harvesting rapeseed in Ukraine are nearly ideal. Accordingly, earlier this year, Ukrainian government officials outlined preliminary plans to produce up to two million tons of rapeseed by 2008 (compared to 148,880 tons in 2004 and only 50,900 tons in 2003) and to construct processing plants to produce biodiesel. Recently, the Vynnytsia-based firm, KMT, was reported to be holding talks with foreign investors interested in constructing a biodiesel plant in Ukraine - an investment which could total tens of millions of dollars. KMT currently refines rapeseed into rapeseed oil, which it exports to European biodiesel producers. There is information that three plants to convert rape oil into biodiesel fuel are going to be built in the Vinnitsa Oblast. The project is going to be realized by regional administration jointly with the bank “Forum”. Each plant will have a capacity to produce 20,000 tons of the fuel annually and they will cost around 30 million € to build. Profit margins are estimated at 15% and all the resulting biofuel will be sold locally.
The Vynnytsia region consequently could become a center for Ukraine’s incipient biodiesel industry. The planting area of rapeseeds in the region has been quadrupled this year to meet the growing demand in rapeseed oil. The American holding company Harvest Moon is building a similar plant in the Poltava region, where corn and rapeseed will serve as the raw materials. Construction of two biodiesel production plants with 100,000 tons of annual capacity was announced by Agrarian Policy Ministry last year. The land for the construction of both plants has already been allocated in Zhitomir and Sumy Oblasts. The cost for each of the plants is projected to be approximately $35 million and will be financed frm both budgetary and private investment funds. Finally, in early 2006, the Drohobych-based Oil and Chemical Plant Galol announced plans to launch a pilot project in the L’viv region to produce 15,000 tons bio-diesel frm rapeseed as a possible prelude to more extensive biodiesel production. Taken together, these may prove to be the first efforts to tap what is potentially a major market for biofuels in Ukraine. Building on these efforts, though, will require resolving a number of technological, economic, and administrative barriers, which hinder the further development of biomass energy.
Geothermal Energy: Ukraine possesses considerable resources of geothermal energy with a total potential estimated of 438 billion kWh per year, which is an attractive resource for using geothermal energy for space and water heating and cooling for residential, public and industrial purpose. At present thermal water is used for municipal heat supply and in agriculture in the western and central part of Crimea (Iljinka, 1 MW; Sizovka, 1 MW; Kotelnikovo, 2 MW; Novo-Alexeyevka, 3 MW; Yantarnoye, 5 MW). Separate wells are used in the Transcarpathian region for supplying thermal water in swimming pools or as an additional source of heat for the local boiler houses. Total installed capacity of heat supply systems 13 MW. It is intended to increase the volumes of using thermal water by 2005 up to 200 MW, by 2010 up to 250 MW according to the State program of using renewable energy sources.
There are three geothermal areas with the heightened geothermal gradient at the territory of Ukraine. They have different geological-geothermic and hydro-geological conditions. The geothermal resources at Crimea peninsula are presented by thermal waters of artesian basins located in the sedimentary rocks of foothills depressions along the northern slope of Crimean Mountains. The average and low-temperature water-bearing reservoirs containing comparatively low and average salt waters are disposed in the upper part of sedimentary basins at the depth up to 2 km, and the deepest parts of the basins contain geothermal brines with temperature up to 200ºC. Medium temperature (60-90ºC) water-bearing layers that are easy to access for mastering are located in the western part of Crimea near Yevpatoria at a depth of 1.5-2km. The theoretical potential of medium temperature water in Crimea is estimated as 63.5 MW with free flow maintenance, more than 1000 MW using downhole pumps, and is in some times higher with full re-injection. High-temperature reservoirs were discovered by some oil-prospecting wells and are poorly studied. The inflows of geothermal brines were obtained frm some wells; the maximum temperature 158ºC was recorded at a depth of 2.5 km.
In the Transcarpathian region geothermal reservoirs were found in the terrigenous and volcanic rocks of intermountain valleys and in the flat western region adjacent to Pannonian basin. Small inflows of mineralized water with temperature up to 90 ºC were obtained frm a separate well with a depth of 1-2.5 km. The maximum temperature 210 ºC was recorded at a depth of 4050 m in the parametric well Zaluzhskaya–3, however the obtained inflow of geothermal brine was small. On the whole the study of thermal water in this region is insufficient for the reliable evaluation of resources. Inflows of geothermal brines with temperature 125 – 168 ºC were obtained in the flat part of Ukraine (Kharkiv and Poltava regions) frm many oil-prospecting and operating wells at a depth of 3-4.5 km. The further investigations of hydro-geological characteristics of thermal water-bearing stratums are necessary for the evaluation of possible utilization of these wells for extracting the thermal water. GHP Systems is another perspective field, which attracts more interest among population after substantial increase of gas price last year. There are a few companies suggesting geo-heat pumps on the market and the main challenge lies in a very low population awareness of GHP systems and prospects of a low-grade geothermal energy usage.