Ukraine targeting 1 GW PV by 2013

According to predictions made by experts during the CISOLAR-2012 conference, which took place last month in Odessa, in addition to the construction of ground-mounted photovoltaic power plants, the number of rooftop projects is expected to increase in the near future.

Jan Knaak, head of the German Solar Energy Association (BSW-Solar) stated that Ukraine has very good geographical conditions for the development of photovoltaics, which is reflected by the country’s high level of irradiation. "Solar power plants can be actually built all over Ukraine and it is a serious argument for European companies interested in new markets," he said.

As an example of the potential, Austria-based Activ Solar has installed four large-scale photovoltaic parks in the country, including an 80 MW park in Ohotnikovo, Crimera, and 80 MW near the village of Perovo. Overall, it says it has installed a total of 215 MW in Ukraine.

Before Activ became so active in the country, there was just seven MW of installed solar capacity, despite the fact it has been identified as a key emerging market by Ernst and Young, due to its "favorable" tax climate and feed-in tariff of over €0.40 per kilowatt hour.

Back in February, 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 cumulative installed capacity up to 290 MW. The new GW predictions are said to reflect the current boom in the country and growing investor interest. In addition to new projects are the reported plans of some investors to unfreeze their earlier-announced projects, which were suspended due to the global crisis.

Investment boom

Meanwhile, at the CISOLAR-2012 event, Jaromir Rehak, president of the Czech Photovoltaic Association said the Ukrainian solar market is on the verge of an investment boom, since many EU companies consider the country a new and promising market.

At the same time, according to Vitaly Daviy, president of the Ukrainian Association of Alternative Energy, in addition to the implementation of major photovoltaic plants, there are plans for the execution of small-scale industry projects, whose implementation is currently impeded by a number of barriers, including a lack of "green tariffs" for private households, and homeowners’ inability to generate electricity for the grid.

In this area, French company, Helios Strategia unveiled its plans in February to install several rooftop photovoltaic systems worth seven MW in the country.

Daviy further believes that, despite the regulatory issues, Ukraine has all the chances to repeat the success of Germany with its "Million Solar Roofs" project, which not only helped to establish new photovoltaic generating facilities, but also created thousands of jobs.

Edited by Becky Stuart.