Ukraine added 211 MW of solar in 2017

The Ukrainian solar market grew less than expected last year, with around 211 MW of new PV systems, according to data provided to pv magazine by the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy (UARE).

In a statement released to pv magazine in March, the association said that, under favorable conditions, between 300 MW and 400 MW of new PV projects could have been connected to the country’s grid last year.

Overall, the Ukraine installed 257 MW of renewable energy generation capacity in 2017, of which 27 MW comprised wind power, 14 MW biogas plants, and 5 MW small-hydro power stations. Solar accounted for the largest growth last year, due to the feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme that is currently in force for both large-scale and distributed generation PV.

The current tariff for ground-mounted PV projects connected to the grid between 2017 and 2019 is €0.1502 ($0.1863)/kWh. Furthermore, the Ukraine is supporting rootop solar projects up to 30 kW via net metering. The tariff, under which homeowners and small business can sell surplus power to the grid, is €0.18 per kWh. At the end of December 2017, the combined capacity of all PV systems installed under the scheme was 37 MW.

Most of last year’s new PV additions were registered in the first half of the year, when around 182 MW were installed. Including new additions for 2017, the country’s cumulative installed capacity has now reached 741 MW.

Looking forward, the UARE said that in 2018 the growth of solar may be stronger. “It is difficult to make any forecast about the sector’s growth, taking into account the uncertainty with the national energy regulator and with the implementation of the new electricity market model. We expect around 500-700 MW growth of solar pv in 2018,” said Iryna Krymus from the UARE.

On the top of its FIT programs, the Ukrainian government is also supporting a GW-sized PV project at the area of Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster. This project, however, is expected to be implemented through an auction mechanism, which still has to be launched.

The Ukrainian government said late last May that it was accelerating the procedures to select PV developers interested in investing in the solar hub. The country’s prime minister, Volodymyr Groysma said the government intended to define the bidding rules for all interested investors, as well as a clear and transparent auction mechanism.