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UKRAINE’S ENERGY FUTURE: A PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY OR FURTHER EPENDENCE?

“The main weak sides, hindering successful implementation of projects in energy efficiency and alternative energy in Ukraine are: absence of source saving boosts on each stages of production, transportation and consumption of energy; politicized tariff plans; weak legal and technical norms, which impact on investment climate” – sais Elena Rybak, Director of EUEA, at the First International business-forum on Energy Efficiency, which was held several days ago in Riga Council (Riga, Latvia). Organizer of the Forum is Latvian Energy Efficiency Association (LATEA), under support of European Commission in Latvia and Riga City Council.

According to the NASU Institute of Gas Ukraine today actively use only 2,7% of “renewable” energy, in USA this figure is 6%, in EU courtiers – 7%, world overall – 14%. Our priority fuel is natural gas (39%), that taking into account rapid and permanent increase of rates leads to slavish dependence from supplier.    

Though Ukraine is trying to make steps for developing of State programs of energy efficiency and alternative energy source technologies, it hardly goes further ambitious and impassive projects on paper. “Majority of mechanisms of energy efficiency state motivation – as tax benefits on equipment import, state support in the framework of National Economic energy efficiency programs till 2015, “green tariff” law, latest legislation, which should make a shift in sector of energy saving in buildings and heating systems – creates more questions than answers. We can say that as a result donor programs and technical assistance just “spoiled” Ukrainians. The prospect of receiving grant is almost a motivation to do nothing, and just wait for Europeans will come and solve all our problems: will write new laws, develop projects, finance them, create new working places and rise economy”, - says Ms. Rybak.

This issue was also raised in the speech of Deputy Head European Commission Representation Valdis Zagorski. Thus European Union develop programs of project realization support, from the funds of which, can be received up to 50% of necessary funds on their realization. At the political level in EU, exists understanding of positive long term influence of such a practice and price efficiency from implemented projects. “EU can support framework conditions, but cannot create political and market tools on local markets”, underlines Mr. Valdis Zagorski.  

Though the situation in energy efficiency sector in Latvia and Ukraine is very similar, we are incomparably behind. Juris Ozolins, independent expert and former adviser to EU Energy Commissioner in his presentation shared the primary reasons, because of which the potential energy savings is not achieved. Among them: prices on energy market are not fully reflected in the cost to customers; insufficient number of trained professionals; pernicious subsidies, price regulation and poor mechanisms of energy saving motivation; also unfinished legislative framework, and poor monitoring of its implementation. “All this in the same measure can be said about Ukraine. But, after all, why Latvia needs one year for implementation of residential building renovation project, and Ukraine needs five?” – gives an example Mr. Rybak, Director of EUEA.

Based on sharpness and urgency of energy efficiency and energy saving technologies problems in Ukraine, EUEA experts together with representatives of Ueropean Comission, Ukrainian Government, Energy Community Secretariat, representatives of business and donor organizations will gather at the Second European-Ukrainian Energy Day , annual event in sphere of energy efficiency and alternative energy, which will take place on May 31 – June 1, 2011 in the InterContinental Hotel (Kiev).

Despite the fact that previous year event was conducted for the first time, it gathered about 300 participants from more than 10 countries. It indicates the urgency of discussed issues and necessity of constant dialogue between main market players.

Main subjects of this year:

  • - New energy strategy of Ukraine.
  • - Joining the Energy Community – what does it mean for business in Ukraine in short and long term prospects.  
  • - nvestment in energy efficiency: tools, examples in Ukraine and neighbor countries experience.   

Organizers: EUEA and Conference House Company. Supported by: Universal Bank, “Saint-Gobain” Concern and LF Arzinger.

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