Empowering Ukraine’s Future: Municipalities Take Charge of Decentralized Renewables  – Ecoclub Rivne is an environmental NGO

Empowering Ukraine’s Future: Municipalities Take Charge of Decentralized Renewables 

Empowering Ukraine’s Future: Municipalities Take Charge of Decentralized Renewables 

Ukrainian municipalities are eager to power critical infrastructure facilities with renewable energy sources (RES) as an additional source in case of possible Russian missile attacks. The development of renewable energy sources can help the country’s transition to carbon neutrality, create workplaces and save budget funds. In other words, RES facilities owned by municipalities will allow all citizens to enjoy the benefits of sustainable energy.

During a recent discussion on February 19 at Café Kyiv (Berlin, Germany), Natalia Kholodova, Program Coordinator of the NGO Ecoclub, presented the benefits of renewable energy projects in communities as a key to energy independence and a sustainable future for Ukraine. Highlighting the Ecoclub’s experience in installing solar power plants (SPPs) together with communities, she emphasized the importance of developing decentralized energy generation:

“Imagine 20 years of constant investment in the local economy instead of paying to giant power plants. This can be realized through the construction of SPPs to power water utilities and hospitals, which are already being implemented by communities together with the NGO Ecoclub during the war. RES help communities survive power outages and save money. They are profitable now and will be after the victory,” Natalia continued.

The Ukrainian government is preparing a Ukrainian Plan, a document that outlines a roadmap for reconstruction efforts supported by the European Union. Currently, the plan does not clearly define the rights and responsibilities of municipalities in implementing renewable energy projects. This raises concerns about a return to centralized control.

“Communities should be able to develop and receive support regardless of the political will of regional or national authorities. The principle of subsidiarity must be respected,” said Ms. Kholodova, calling for a transparent and clear system of support for post-war recovery projects.

Another issue is the state’s ability to ensure compliance with standards and regulations when implementing energy projects in communities. According to Natalia, government bodies do not have sufficient capacity to ensure that all projects meet the requirements of current legislation. This calls into question the efficiency of resource use and can undermine the ideas of progressive projects due to improper implementation.

“We were forced to stop the construction of a solar power plant due to deviations from the project documentation. Without proper adherence to standards, questionable projects can threaten the trust of investors and communities,” Natalia said.

Ecoclub calls on all stakeholders:

– Clearly defined roles and rights for municipalities in the energy transition plan, with transparent access to funding. 

– Reformed government agencies ensuring compliance with regulations. 

– Prioritization of community-led RES projects for energy security and economic development. 

More details here.

Contacts us via office@ecoclubrivne.org.