On October 14, the 13th Energy Day of the European-Ukrainian Energy Agency (EUEA) was held in Vienna with the participation of leading experts from the EIB, the EBRD, the Energy Community Secretariat, the German agency GIZ, other experts, and representatives of leading renewable energy companies.
Vienna, October 14, 2022 – EUEA held the 13th European-Ukrainian Energy Day. This year’s topic of the conference is “New Energy Reality: Ukraine’s Post-War Recovery and Energy Sector Outlook”.
The event was devoted to current issues and questions of the future of the energy sector with a focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable development. The conference was held in Vienna with the participation of more than 100 guests, including representatives of key agencies involved in energy sector reforms, representatives of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank, GiZ, UNIDO, and RES producers.
Among the speakers of the conference were Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine Yaroslav Demchenkov, Member of the NEURC Oleksiy Magda, Deputy Director General for the European Commission Directorate General for Energy Mechthild Wörsdörfer, Director of Energy Community Secretariat Artur Lorkowski, Head of EIB Resident Representation in Ukraine Jean-Erik de Zagon, Deputy Head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Mark Magaletsky, Industrial Development Officer of UNIDO Marco Matteini, Chairman of the Board NPC “Ukrenergo” Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, representatives of IFC and representatives of leading RES investor companies such as DTEK Renewables, Emergy, Guris, and Scatec. The event was organized jointly with the Trade Department of the Austrian Embassy in Ukraine at the premises of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.
Opening the first panel discussion, Yaroslav Demchenkov noted in his speech that “the latest missile attacks are an attack on the energy security of the European continent. Everything that is happening today in the energy sector of Ukraine and the EU is a stress test of the ability of a united Europe to protect its values and prevent energy poverty.” He also emphasized that at the tactical level, the task of the ministry is to diversify the supply of energy carriers and accelerate the energy transition. At the same time, the goal at the strategic level is to strengthen European energy security, decarbonization, and de-weaponization of energy resources.
Jean-Erik de Zagon noted that Ukraine must ensure a green transition within the framework of the National Recovery Plan of Ukraine in order to successfully integrate into the European economy. He also emphasized that the EIB will not consider new investments in fossil-related projects. EIB aims to support projects on the development of green energy, the strengthening of Ukrainian power transmission capacities to the EU, energy efficiency projects and the reconstruction of energy infrastructure. Mr de Zagon stated that the Bank already works closely with the Ministry of Energy and Ukrenergo team.
Mark Magaletsky, Deputy Head of the EBRD in Ukraine, started by expressing admiration for all energy sector workers in Ukraine, who are maintaining the power sector operational. He also announced the following priorities in the work of the EBRD:1) liquidity support of existing clients; 2) investments in the restoration of energy infrastructure and support of critical infrastructure facilities; 3) under the condition of a favorable security situation, investments in RES. In addition, energy storage development projects are also a priority for the EBRD. At the end of the speech, Mr. Magaletsky emphasized that the EBRD has been supporting and plans to continue to support Ukraine.
In the course of the discussion, Artur Lorkowski, Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, explained that to have a good understanding of the energy sector structure and green transition process, prior to the war there was created a national energy and climate plan for Ukraine, in line with EU standards. Now this plan needs to be updated to account for changes in energy consumption and production. Energy Community Secretariat is expecting an updated version of this document by mid-year 2023 and also proposes to the Ukrainian government to assist with its preparation of it. The plan will be used to promote cooperation and coordination among investor and donor efforts in the reconstruction.
Speaking in the second panel on sustainability, energy efficiency, and decarbonization topics Torsten Wollert stated that among the key challenges for Ukraine now is rethinking at different levels its energy supply system, creating more decentralized systems: from the power plants to the local distribution network and the buildings. Buildings have huge potential to make the energy system more efficient. We need to create a concept of how to implement these energy efficiency measures and apply best practices from other countries, said Mr Wollert.
George Cristodorescu commented that GiZ has been working a lot on energy efficiency championing it on the municipal level, housing efficiency in particular, and industrial efficiency. He believes that for mid-term planning it is important to understand changes in the energy sector. There is an important structural change in the energy sector as the business landscape changes. GiZ intends to create a structural fund in Ukraine with funds for local development.
Marco Matteini, emphasized that data (i.e. advanced energy analytics) shall be used heavier to plan and improve energy efficiency. He sees a strong need for asset optimization in the Ukrainian industry. UNIDO’s experience shows that there are substantial opportunities for energy improvement. To promote that work, we need to build industry confidence in energy efficiency and net zero. Mr. Matteini emphasized that energy management system integrated in business operations results in continued energy improvement.
Alexander Antonyuk noted that the EIB had more than 50 projects on infrastructure, energy efficiency, and climate action in Ukraine (started pre-war) and also keeps supporting Ukrenergo. Mr. Antonyuk talked about energy savings in buildings, which can reach up to 50%. There are challenges in promoting the buildings energy efficiency, and there is a search for local partners to speed up these processes. Mr. Antonyuk referred to successful cooperation cases in this field among the IFIs as the EIB has been working with GiZ (Felicity-2 project) and USAID on energy efficiency projects.
Eduard Yakubov presented the projects of the FC Energy Efficiency Fund. From their experience with buildings improvement, the following is needed for energy efficiency to be implemented: 1) incentives; 2) unity of the residents of the buildings to launch the process; 3) respective technologies. Post-war rebuilding will be a unique opportunity for Ukraine to rebuild in a smart way. The main directions of work of the IFC energy efficiency fund are providing grant funding for renovation; a new program for the damaged in war buildings to be reconstructed; direct contact with municipalities to promote energy efficient rebuilding. Mr. Yakubov commented that impressively the number of applications for renovations and energy efficiency improvements has not declined during the war.
Speaking in the third panel on green finance and ESG development Rodion Morozov, Deputy Chairman of the Board JSB “Ukrgasbank”, reminded that Ukrgasbank has been already active in sustainable finance since 2016 with over 900 projects done and intends to remain active. He also stated that Ukrgasbank is ready to provide a platform for international partnership, being already a partner bank of IFC. Mr. Morozov sees an important role for Ukrainian banks in implementing international programs which will enable access to financing and allow private investors to split their risks. Additionally, Mr. Morozov emphasized that when possible recovery shall be supported in feasible amounts already now.
Olexiy Parkhomchuk, Investment Director of Danish state-owned fund IFU in Ukraine, explained that since 2020 IFU adopted a new investment strategy in line with EU Green Deal and all investment opportunities are now going through screening tools on green requirements. IFU currently has 14 projects in Ukraine, out of which 4 projects in renewable sector. The Fund is getting ready to finance rebuilding of Ukraine. Mykolaiv city and the region were assigned to Denmark for rebuilding after the war.
Konstantin Magaletskyi, Partner of Ukraine Green Recovery Fund with over 15 years of experience in private equity, urged Ukraine to start working with private investors preparing for rebuilding. The time to close a private equity deal with investors is about 1 year. Konstantin said that we have no time to waste and need to start now.
Ievgenii Cherviachenko, the Senior Consultant at GFA Consulting Group, emphasized that the energy transition for Ukraine is even more crucial than green reconstruction at this point. As a result of war action, there was a sizable volume of pollution-heavy industrial assets destroyed. In order to rebuild properly, we need to understand changes in the demand side and plan accordingly. Additionally, there should be respective programming in place: a thorough energy sector strategy is needed. Now it is time to consider what pipeline of investment projects will be prepared, what will be the structure of these investments, and last but not least important, who and how will coordinate the investments.
Iryna Grechana, financial director of Scatec Ukraine, also spoke in the third discussion. Iryna said that the company continues to generate 95% of its own production capacity, despite all the current market challenges. Moreover, Scatec continues to cooperate with communities and implement social and humanitarian projects. The Norwegian company “Scatec” has positive outlook for new projects in Ukraine given favorable conditions for investments and investors’ involvement in discussions with relevant ministries and regulatory bodies.
Oleg Kudashov, Senior Investment Officer at IFC, highlighted the perspectives of PPP structure for the energy sector. In Ukraine, there are already success stories of 2 port concessions in the South. IFC has a lot of goodwill to prepare for reconstruction and launch it as soon as possible. IFC observes a substantial level of preparation in the public sector already now. IFC plans to cooperate with the government in developing a pipeline of PPPs and concessions in the next couple of years.
During the fourth panel, the pressing issues of RES electricity producers were discussed. The discussion was opened by Dirk Buschle, Deputy Director of the Energy Community Secretariat, emphasized that, from his point of view, there will be a renaissance of the RES sector in Ukraine as well as in Europe. The renaissance of the RES sector should happen not only with the participation of donors but also with the involvement of existing players in the sector and new investors. For this, it is important to solve all the pressing issues of the sector, including debt obligations, which had already been discussed before the start of the war. The next step is to prepare the regulatory framework in accordance with European standards, including the implementation of the system of guarantees of origin in Ukraine. In addition, it is important to plan the implementation of storage systems for electricity.
After him, the Chairman of the Board of NPC Ukrenergo, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, talked about the importance of RES for the energy sector of Ukraine and the importance of creating an appropriate regulatory environment in Ukraine for sector development. In his opinion, today’s market price of electricity and the improvement of intersections with the European energy system allow us to predict decent profits for RES investors. The possibility of renewable energy export to Europe would be a strong support factor for RES development.
Ihor Retivov, Senior Manager of Regulatory Affairs of DTEK Renewables, also emphasized the importance of a transparent regulatory environment for the development of RES and the improvement of relevant legislation. Ihor mentioned that the recommencement of investment projects in the RES sector depends on the state’s actions. “RES is no longer a trend, but an ideology,” noted Ihor.
Yuri Kubrushko, Managing Partner of IMEPOWER, started by stating that the vast majority of feed-in tariff mediation agreements were fulfilled, and the government is making an effort to stay up-to-date with its obligations to RES producers. He pointed out the tantamount importance of being fair with existing investors, as otherwise there will be no new private investors. As to the development of the energy sector, Mr. Kubrushko sees some strategic decisions ahead: whether the state energy companies will be the backbone of energy infrastructure and will be supported by IFIs or the private sector will be. It is likely that the government will choose the first path, and the rebuilding will be done via funding of the existing major state companies. In such case, the reforms of these companies with a focus on corporate governance and transparency (in some cases long overdue reforms) need to be conducted. And the private sector involvement will depend on the regulatory framework and a certain level of liberalization of the procedures and regulations.
Oleg Dobrovolsky, Regional Director of I-REC, explained the advantages and applications of certificates of origin for producers of RES. He highlighted several benefits that the introduction of the certificates will bring not only to RES producers but to other players in the economy. According to Oleg, there cannot be renewables renaissance without the implementation of the transparency of origin of the power. The certificate standard is an important factor as it allows for a unified recognition of the issued certificate for carbon accounting (CDP or Green House Protocol being major systems of recognition). Mr. Dobrovolsky pointed out that the certificates will have additional application for the economy of Ukraine in lowering of carbon footprint for exported goods. The introduction of CBAM mechanism in Europe will make this option particularly valuable. In conclusion, Oleg announced that the I-REC foundation is happy to assist Ukraine in various formats – either with consultations on the topic or accreditation by the I-REC standard of the standard that Ukraine will choose.
Established in 2009, EUEA – is an independent non-profit organization open to all participants of the energy efficiency and renewable energy market of Ukraine, who aim to constructively cooperate with like-minded companies. Together, we aim to contribute to the transparent development of these markets by promoting fair and sustainable business development, increasing public awareness of energy issues, and influencing government energy policy. The EUEA’s priority areas of activity are Energy Efficiency (with sub-groups in the construction sector, district heating, industry, and energy from waste), Bioenergy (including biomass and biogas), Wind and Solar Energy, Smart Grids, Project Financing, and Energy Community Treaty.