Ukraine is an independent state that dynamically develops and with every step strengthens its political and economic position in Europe and in the whole world. As it is for any in the world, the energy sector is extremely important for Ukraine, since it directly influences development of the national economy and quality of life of the population. Nowadays, Ukraine is standing at a very important point, a point when it defines its energy policy until 2030.
Having analyzed the Strategy, the coalition of environmental non-government organizations pointed out several essential suggestions.
The faults of the project “Energy Strategy of Ukraine till 2030”
- Strategy foresees an increase in energy production by increasing coal mining.
Taking into account the closure of the coal mines due to their unprofitability, the statements about the improvement in the quality of coal quality and simultaneous decrease in its price is rather doubtful.
- Strategy foresees increase in energy production by expanding the use of nuclear power by:
Construction of 22 new nuclear units
Putting in operation 2 new units every two years
Even in Russia, with its high technological abilities and excessive subsides in nuclear energy, nuclear developers believe it is possible to build only one unit in three years.
Prolonging the exploitation term of existing nuclear units
In 2030 there will still be working units, built in 1980s of last century. The program on improvement of safety of those reactors that should have been completed by 2005 is still not completed.
Increase in energy capacity
In accordance to the Strategy, in 2030 Ukraine will reach levels of energy efficiency of today’s Poland.
- Strategy does not follow directives of European Union in the following questions:
Environmental aspect of energy production
Creation of open market
conscientious competition in the energy sector
freedom of choice of energy supplier by the customer
maintaining of the transparency pricing policy
allocation of sufficient resources for the development of renewable sources of energy.
- Strategy doesn’t take into consideration problems which are provoked by intense development of nuclear energy
Deficit of water in low water years and following it economical, environmental and social-economical consequences.
Ukraine has one of the lowest water reserves in Europe (1000m3/person). Moreover, nearly 65% of water flow is used. Continued use of water flow provokes a threat of environmental disaster. For example, the flow of river Horyn, where the Khmelnitsky NPP is located, is about 282 million m3/year. At least 196 mln. m3 is required by other users. 120 mln m3 of water is needed to cool 4 nuclear units. Taking these numbers into account, it is impossible to fill a cooling pond of nuclear plant without violation of normal environmental balance in the river of Horyn during the low water years.
Establishment of new hazards for the population of Ukraine due to the usage of nuclear power.
Risk of terroristic attacks.
Absence of reliable program of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel disposal.
The current policy of “Energoatom” for disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel follows two main goals: first, to shift off the decision on these problems to the future generations, and secondly, to fund disposal of radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel from the state budget and not from the funds of Energoatom.
- Energy independence of Ukraine
Ukraine cannot have its own closed nuclear cycle due to political reasons (distribution of nuclear weapon) and economic reasons (significant investments that will never be returned). Ukrainian nuclear industry fully depends on Russia. Ukraine uses and plans to continue using soviet type of reactor units. We also purchase nuclear fuel from Russia. Most of the equipment for nuclear power plants is produced in Russia.
Availability of two nuclear fuel suppliers, in the best case scenario, cannot guarantee its continuous delivery. Particularly, if taking into account the need to make arrangements with a non-Russian supplier (for example, industrial capacities of Westinghouse in Sweden).
For most countries, energy independence is not only about the guaranteed supply of fuel, as it is planned in the Ukrainian Strategy, but also the efficient use of energy and development of available energy resources, especially renewable resources.
- Unrealistic strategy
Ukraine won’t have enough financial resources for big investments, especially in nuclear power that needs them at the first stage. One also should not rely on significant investments from the International financial markets. According to the latest report of the International Energy Agency, the quantity of energy projects in the whole world is rising drastically, which creates competition and increases demand for the limited resources of investors. Besides, nuclear power is considered the riskiest and is not supported by the International Banks of Reconstruction.
- Violation of Arhus Convention demands
The violation is in the limitation of the public discussion during the preparation of complex strategy of environmental impact of planned activities. The constitutional rights of population are limited.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
“Energy Strategy of Ukraine till 2030” needs to be revised. The current strategy creates delusive comfort and postpones the need for speedy measures to reform the energy sector, and provokes a threat to country’s energy independence.
Balanced development of the energy sphere is possible with the following measures:
- Support of projects, oriented on the energy saving and alternative sources of energy:
- Energy savings in housing and communal sector
To heat and light 1m2 of residential-commercial-industrial area Ukraine uses 6-7 times more energy than EU countries. By the most conservative estimates, potential for energy savings in Ukraine can reach 50%. If we invest money in energy saving in residential and communal sector, we could save up to 15% of energy resources. It will give us a chance to decrease the volume of imported gas by quarter and not to build 20 new reactors.
- Increase in energy efficiency in transport
The state’s task is to establish such conditions, which would greatly benefit the population. For example, support of public transportation, instead of private cars, support of railway and boat transport rather than road transport.
- Introduction of alternative resources of energy
Old ways of looking at the modern technologies of energy production and alternative resources on the state level hinder their implementation. Alternative resources of energy are priorities in many developed countries as well as in the developing countries. Because of the importance of energy safety in EU, it was decided that renewable energy should account for 20% of energy production by 2020. In China, this index will be increased to 15% by 2020. Ukraine plans to raise renewables to only 7% by 2030. Effective means of introduction of alternative sources of energy are:
- implementation of administrative conditions for the creation of new energy companies and opportunity to give individual users a chance to use energy from the general network.
- Support energy production from alternative sources that is nowadays much more expensive than traditional sources but has a great potential in the nearest future.
- Introduction of “green tariffs”, thanks to which the producers of renewable energy are guaranteed a price for sale of energy, which can be higher than the market price.
- Energy savings in housing and communal sector
- Review the system of energy production:
- Refusal from subsidies from the state budget.
- Automation of energy systems management with a high number of smaller capacities
- Decrease of energy losses through transportation by production of energy closer to consumers
- Decrease in use of imported energy carriers as the results of transfer to the renewable energy technologies.
Taking into account above comments, the coalition of environmental non-government organizations believe the following measures should be taken by the government, president of Ukraine, and leaders of parliamentarian factions and committees.
- review and further annulations of arrangements between WHO-IEA, that obliges WHO not to distribute the information about the real consequences for the health of population by the influence of Chornobyl disaster and other nuclear power plants.
- provide environmental impact statement of Strategy with its further discussion
- Organize all-Ukrainian referendum on nuclear power development issues
- Development Water Strategy, which will include water basin and international programs
- Organize a wide campaign for public hearings to review plans for increase of nuclear power capacities
Coalition of public organizations of Ukraine “For sustainable energy”
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