On September 17, 2020, the European-Ukrainian Energy Day took place. It was dedicated to discussing the challenges of the industry and finding ways to overcome the crisis that threatened Ukraine’s “green” energy future. The basis for the discussion of this year’s conference was the future of Ukrainian energy, its prospects and development within the framework of the EU Green Deal.

Thematic session №1 “Ukrainian energy policy in the frame of EU Green Deal aimed to consider what are the nearest targets and strategic plans of Ukraine, including the implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU, Energy Community Treaty and other commitments of Ukraine according to the international agreements and national strategic plans, discuss recovery from the energy and economic crisis.

The speakers of the thematic session №1 were: Mats Lundin, Chairman of the Board of the EUEA; Olha Buslavets, Acting Minister of Energy of Ukraine; Ihor Korhovyi, Deputy Minister of Community and Territorial Development of Ukraine for European Integration; Lesia Vasylenko, Member of the Parliament, Co-Chair of the InterFactional Union “Energy and Environment”; Matti Maasikas, Head of the EU Delegation; Jean-Erik de Zagon, Head of EIB Resident Representation in Ukraine; George Cristodorescu, Coordinator of the Energy Efficiency sector, Director of the Project “Energy Efficiency Reforms in Ukraine” implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Janez Kopac, Director of Energy Community Secretariat, moderated the session.

As Mats Lundin, Chairman of the Board of the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency, noted: “Ukraine is very gradually but surely becoming energy efficient and independent of external energy supplies through the development of renewable energy sources.” He made this statement at the opening of the 11th European-Ukrainian Energy Day, one of the most important events in the energy sector of Ukraine.

As noted by Olha Buslavets, Acting Minister of Energy of Ukraine: “Ukraine seeks to join the European green course, including through the liberalization of energy security. In my opinion, the Green Deal is an opportunity for Ukraine to become stronger. To ensure the implementation of the Green Deal, Ukraine is implementing a powerful energy reform, which provides for systematic measures to improve Ukraine’s energy efficiency. Today, RES is not only the key to the successful development of the national economy, it is also the key to energy neutrality”.

Today in Ukraine 40% of electricity is used by buildings and construction, and 60% of natural gas is used by central heating systems and houses. According to Deputy Minister of Community and Territorial Development of Ukraine for European Integration Ihor Korkhovyi, within the framework of the policy of joining the European Green Deal, the ministry sets ambitious goals – to increase thermal modernization of buildings to 60% by 2050 and increase the share of renewable energy sources in heating systems to 50%. He also noted that a program worth 300 million euros is being discussed with the European Investment Bank for the thermal modernization of public buildings – schools and kindergartens in the cities of Ukraine.

Lesia Vasylenko, Member of the Parliament, Co-Chair of the Inter- Factional Union “Energy and Environment” noted that Ukraine is doing everything to fulfill its obligations under the Green Deal with the EU. And we can note significant progress in implementing the commitments we had with Ukraine before. Today we are developing the institutional structure in Ukraine in order to move forward even better. And I admit that it will take a long time to get the job done. However, we are doing everything possible to complete the work towards the stated goals in the energy sector as soon as possible.

In turn, the Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine Matti Maasikas noted Ukraine’s interest in joining the Green Deal. However, Mr. Maasikas expressed concern that the draft state budget of Ukraine for 2021 does not include funds for energy efficiency, but instead has funds to support the coal industry in the amount of 3 billion hryvnias. According to him, this contradicts the statements about the “Green Deal” and does not meet Ukraine’s obligations to jointly finance energy efficiency. Jean-Eric de Zagon, Head of the Permanent Representation in Ukraine of the European Investment Bank, also drew attention to the breach of Ukraine’s commitments to the EU and Germany on joint financing of energy efficiency and expressed hope that this would be corrected. He called the Energy Efficiency Fund created by Ukraine, Germany and the World Bank a success story. Today, more than 17,000 Ukrainian families participate in its programs, and this number continues to grow.

George Cristodorescu, Coordinator of the Energy Efficiency Sector and Director of the Project “Energy Eciency Reforms in Ukraine” implemented by GIZ, noted that the project is working on and developing a concept for abandoning the coal industry and coal generation. According to him, he hopes that the German ministers of economy and energy will help implement this concept in two regions of Ukraine.

As Janez Kopac, Director of Energy Community Secretariat and moderator of the session, summed up the thematic session №1: “There is good news, and not very good, but there are many opportunities, and I am glad that there is such a cluster approach between GIZ and the EIB and also the European delegation joins the cluster, and we wrote a letter to the draft Law 2458, which was postponed to the vote in the Verkhovna Rada, and there is a lot of desire on the part of the ministries to develop and implement reforms, so I am optimistic about it”.

Speakers presentations: https://cutt.ly/tfCadhS

Energy Day web-page: https://cutt.ly/ifCakSS

Watch thematic session #1: https://cutt.ly/Sf1qqfy