The Ukrainian renewable energy sector has a very high potential due to geographical and favorable climatic conditions. More than 1,000 companies have already built successful businesses in the field of “green” generation, in particular in the solar sector. However, as of today, there are unfavorable economic and political conditions for renewable energy, the development of new RES capacity has decreased significantly in 2020 and 2021. Last year, the Ukrainian solar sector added 1,169 MW of industrial solar photovoltaic capacity and 226 MW of residential photovoltaic energy, a total of 1,395 MW of newly installed capacity from solar power plants in 2020. This is a reduction of 60%. According to the latest data from the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine for the first half of 2021, the total capacity of industrial solar power plants increased by 257.4 MW and 156 MW due to PV plants of private households. In total, as of the end of the first half of 2021, 7,284 MW of capacity from solar power plants was commissioned in Ukraine. Since the beginning of 2021, solar photovoltaic systems have produced 926.8 GWh of green electricity.
Artem Semenyshyn, Director of the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine, spoke about the challenges for the solar sector during his speech at the forum The smarter E industry days of the Solar Power Europe within the Green Deal Diplomacy and EU instruments supporting renewable energy project development in developing markets and highlighted the following points.
1. Reducing the size of “green” tariffs for both solar and wind power plants.
2. Large debts for the generation of electricity from RES, mainly due to misunderstandings between government agencies, which should act as guarantors of these payments.
3. Postponement of the launch of “green” auctions for 2 years.
4. And the most painful topic today is the introduction of an excise tax of 3.2% for renewable energy at the end of this year, which violates the signed memorandum with investors on the invariability of further conditions for work in Ukraine.
All these actions decisively undermine the authority of the Ukrainian energy market in terms of investment attractiveness. It also caused significant job losses for the local solar industry – more than 5,000 workers left the industry. This information is also presented in the Global Market Outlook from Solar Power Europe in the section about the Ukrainian solar industry.
Also, we should not forget about the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on the economic context of Ukraine and the high cost of loans for residential photovoltaics, which are significant new obstacles to the development of the industry.
Given Ukraine’s intentions to move towards the EU Green deal and in the context of further integration into ENTSO-E, the Ukrainian sector expects to recover.
Solar Energy Association of Ukraine (ASEU)