Ukrainian PV industry ramping up

French Helios Strategia, a European photovoltaics market leader, became the latest company on this list, which includes Austrian company, Activ Solar, after unveiling its plans to install several rooftop photovoltaic systems in the Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Association of Alternative Fuel and Energy Market Participants (UAAFEMP) states that the total capacity of the plants, which will be installed by Helios Strategia this year, is expected to reach seven megawatts (MW).

Elena Skrypnyk, sales director of Helios Strategia, comments, "At present, Ukraine has very attractive conditions for building solar power plants with the capacity of 0.5 to one MW on the roofs of both industrial and municipal buildings, and private houses. For the majority of companies, which have experience of the construction of such facilities in Europe, Ukraine is currently considered a key market for their future growth."

Having identified it as a key emerging market, Ernst and Young says the Ukraine has a "favorable" tax climate and feed-in tariff of over €0.40 per kilowatt hour. Analysts of the Ukrainian Delo business paper further state that the country is currently experiencing a boom in the construction of medium-sized photovoltaic rooftop systems. Going forward, it is predicted that the next two years will see active construction of large ground-based solar power plants start.

Ivan Nadein, head of the Ukrainian Committee of Energy Independence told pv magazine that at least 100 MW worth of new photovoltaic systems are expected to be installed in the country in 2012, thus taking acumulated installed capacity up to 290 MW.

The main growth in 2012 is expected to be achieved mainly through Activ Solar’s projects in the Odessa region and further development of solar power plants in the Crimea. At the same time up to three MW is expected to be added in small-scale installations.

Representatives of Activ Solar have already confirmed their intention for further development in the Ukraine. According to Johann Harter, executive director, the company plans to construct more photovoltaic plants in the country. He adds that a new office in Odessa has recently been opened. Activ believes that Odessa has a very good level of solar activity and a favorable geographical position, which creates conditions for further construction of photovoltaic plants in the region.

In addition, to attract further foreign investment, the Ukranian government plans to develop its own production of components for solar power plants during the next several years. This is expected to be achieved with the help of the existing local content rule, which grants compensation to investors of up to 15 percent when they utilize components made in the Ukraine. From January 1, 2013, this figure will increase to 30 percent, and from January 1, 2014, to 50 percent.

Edited by Becky Stuart.