This is part of the large-scale plans of the Ukrainian government to increase the share of renewables in the countrys overall energy structure up to 11% by 2020 and to reduce the countrys dependence on Russian gas. Total volume of investments in the development of renewables by this time should reach EUR 15 billion.
According to Sergey Savchuk, head of the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings of Ukraine, the development of renewables (the share of which in the Ukranian energy balance is currently estimated at 3,8%) and in particular the countrys industry of solar power, is expected to be one of the priority state goals for the next several years.
According to him, the majority of funds will be provided from the countrys budget, while the remaining by private investors. According to some sources in the Ukranian government, among these investors could be some well-known Ukranian oligarchs, as well as foreign investors from Czech Republic and Germany.
Savchuk has also added that successful implementation of this goal will allow to reduce the annual consumption of natural gas in Ukraine by about 9 billion cubic meters. In 2013 the consumption of gas in Ukraine amounted to 50 billion cubic meters, the majority of which were supplied from Russia, which accounts for about 25 billion cubic meters in total volume of supplies.
It is planned that the development of the industry will mainly take place through the active building of new solar power plants, mainly in the Western part of the country.
Ukraine's solar industry has been profoundly disrupted by the ongoing conflict in the country, with projects on the Crimean peninsula, previously the location of the bulk of projects, having been thrown into turmoil.
Ukraine must grapple with a range of energy challenges beyond its reliance on imported gas including an aging nuclear fleet and inefficient transmission system. In terms of solar companies, Austrian firm Activ Solar has been most active in the country, with Martifer Solar having also developed projects.
Additional reporting by Jonathan Gifford.