The Russian invasion of Ukraine is having a significant impact on the Ukrainian power sector. In recent years, the sector had started moving towards greater integration with the European Union and was making inroads into the shift to renewable energy sources.
The current situation is very challenging; not only is it slowing the nation’s energy transition, but it is also disrupting past achievements. Burgeoning renewable energy sources are being curtailed or shut down at unprecedented rates. This downturn results from the destructive effects of the war, coupled with inflexible generation sources.
One way to rectify this imbalance would be to maximise the current potential for interconnectivity between Ukraine and the EU. This, in turn, would allow the country to work towards three goals simultaneously. The increases in commercial energy flows can contribute to: increasing energy security, providing funds for continuing operation and reconstruction, and allowing for greater integration of renewables, thus achieving decarbonisation objectives faster.
While there are technical and legal requirements which must be fulfilled in order to expand Ukraine’s connectivity with the EU, decision-makers can maximise the value of the process by:
- Implementing transparent, market-based instruments for cross-border capacity allocation.
- Ensuring solutions benefit all customers and do not only serve individual vested interests.
- Laying out a roadmap for long-term structural reform of the Ukrainian energy system. Ideally, it focuses on ensuring energy security and advancing European and Ukrainian decarbonisation goals.