Yesterday, on June 15, 2021, the UN Environment Forum 2021 in Ukraine took place. Representatives of the government, youth, NGOs, fashion designers, business representatives and UN experts took part in the discussion of the hottest global and national environmental issues.
Speakers: designer Anton Belinsky, editor-in-chief of Buro.Ukraine Tetyana Solovey, Minister of Ecology Roman Abramovsky, Deputy Minister of Ecology for European Integration Iryna Stavchuk, representatives of the Swedish Embassy, Head of the Japan International Cooperation Agency Satoshi Sugimoto, UAnimals and many others.
Oleksandra Gumeniuk, Director of EUEA has also took part as a speaker at the fourth panel “How to recover nature and reduce the carbon footprint?” of the event. In particular, Oleksandra Gumeniuk answered the following questions:
🔹What potential does Ukraine have for renewable energy development? Do investors want to bring their money to t
his area?
Ukraine has a great potential for the development of “green” energy of any segment (sun, wind, biomass). First of all, investors of RES sector have already entered our country, in particular, about $ 10 billion has been already invested in this industry, and the total built capacity for all RES is about 8.5 GW. What do investors need first of all? It is definitely stable regulatory environment, that makes investors be able to predict: what laws are in force now, what strategy the state has, what attitude of international partners to the country in which they invest is, what role this state plays in the international arena, etc. Currently, Ukraine is a strategic partner of the EU, considering the energy sector, in particular, today Ukraine tries to direct all efforts to integrate its IPS into ENTSO-E, which in the future will have a huge positive impact for our energy sector and for economy of the country as well. Unfortunately, last year there was a retrospective change in the “green” legislation, which absolutely doesn’t help to encourage investment. Investors already operating in Ukraine are extremely disappointed with the current changes. In addition, a new draft law that could introduce an additional tax on electricity from renewable sources has recently been registered, which in turn will have a negative impact on investment environment. But we still hope for a positive dialogue with the state authorities, and that the newly elected Minister of Energy and the market players will do their best to improve the situation. Now we are talking about renewable energy, tomorrow we will talk about waste management, to which investors can respond the next thong “Where are the guarantees that this area will be deprived such risks as in the “green” energy has? We can choose another country, which has more stable investment climate”. Therefore, first of all, we must be honest and open for the sustainable and successful future of our country.
🔹Recently, we can hear more and more an opinion among the expert community, that Ukraine at this stage should abandon the development of “green” energy. Why do they think so and what the reasons for it?
Confrontation between different players in any sector always takes place. Competition has always been, and always will be presented, especially between the two main titans of the energy sector – traditional and renewable energy, and this is normal. However, at the same time we clearly see a transparent tendency of transition of the traditional market to a more environmentally friendly, “green” model. Because the cost of electricity from RES is much cheaper compared to traditional energy ones. But, again, it raises the question of regulatory environment. When other countries plan to give a boost to a new sector of the economy, first of all they always provide some incentives in the form of subsidies, state’s help, implementation of the relevant legislation, after which such assistance slowly stops, and then players of the sector adopt to the market conditions step by step. Ukraine is experiencing the same thing now with the RES sector. But this transition is unfair, because those investors and projects that were built under old condition are trying to adopt to the new ones, and this is a problem. And it is worth to ask those who are against “green” energy, what do they stand for – for the import of energy resources or electricity? If it is so, what is point of energy independence and security of Ukraine?