“Ukraine is stumbling forward not being able to drop opportunity fully, yet” said Dave Young, Chairman of the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency as closing remark of the 4th European-Ukrainian Energy Day “Ukraine’s Energy Market: Steps Forward or Lost Opportunity?”
Over 200 stakeholder from the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors, among which representatives from international state institutions, diplomatic missions and policy makers, gathered together to understand what is stopping Ukraine from achieving set goals in energy saving and resources diversification.
As Mr. Kopac, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, explained “Unfortunately, Ukraine’s market developed not in the way we expected it to. The Majority of discussions between Ukrainian government and European institutions are a formality. Ukraine is performing very poorly in the development of its laws and regulations that should attract millions of euro of investment”.
The State Agency for Energy Efficiency (SAEE) was supposed to present the National Energy Efficiency Plan to the public in April; the National Plan on RES is expected in June; the Ukrainian Energy Strategy to 2030 has been reviewed, re-drafted and updated for the past two years with no clear path to sustainability; the Electricity market reform is being delayed and, despite all affirmative support from stakeholders, the law has not reach the second reading yet. The Draft law on energy efficiency in buildings is moving back and forward around law makers’ corridors for about three years already.
“The representation of new companies interested in the market has been steadily falling down in the past years and is expected to reach a “zero-growth” soon”, said experts. No one any longer believes in promises of “potential market”, and those who came early enough are still putting a lot of effort to stay determined for success. The risks remain too high and patience of the international community is not eternal, although still present.
“Ukraine is an important partner for the EU, but not as important as sometimes some officials think”, diplomatically mentioned Mr. Andrew Rasbash, Head of Operations at the EU Delegation to Ukraine. He finally added “…technical assistance and projects alone will never work without relevant developments on policy”.
“I do not understand… Ukraine has everything it needs to succeed: capacity building resources, technology, policy advice, international expertise, technical assistance, money, potential private investment (once the mechanisms are in place), and yet it still takes years to make tangible progress in market development. Sometimes I feel that Ukraine’s well known “potential” is an illusion, being right in front of you, but you are just like a rabbit endlessly reaching for a carrot that will never be reached”, said Elena Rybak, Vice-Chairman of the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency.