Norway Solar Giant Studies Ukraine Projects
Ukraine Business Journal, by Vitalii Dubenskyi
Published on March 14, 2017
The company’s vice-president, Terje Osmundsen, together with Norwegian Ambassador Ole Horpestad, held meetings in Kyiv last week to consider construction of two facilities that would fit into Ukraine’s goal to secure 11% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry said talks concentrated on construction of two large photovoltaic facilities with a combined capacity of 60 MW. The Norwegians are considering other projects in Ukraine.
Solar: Newly Profitable
Sharp declines in solar equipment prices combine with technology improvements to make solar energy profitable in Ukraine, especially in sunny southern regions, Oleg Savitsky, coordinator of the National Ecological Center of Ukraine, a private group, told the UBJ.
“Due to the fact that Ukraine has a green tariff, photovoltaic systems have become an attractive investment for both households and large companies,” he said in an email. “The return on investment in the southern regions can be as short as four to five years.”
In the meeting with Scatec, Viktoria Hnatovsk, a representative of the Department of the Electric Power Complex of Ukraine, said that Ukraine’s government views renewable energy as critical for reforming the energy market.
Solar Grows in Ukraine
In the meeting with the Norwegians, Natalia Boyko, Deputy Energy Minister, also pointed to legal protections for investors in renewable energy generation.
In the last year, almost solar power stations with a total capacity of nearly 100 MW were built in Ukraine, according to Ukrenergo, the national electricity provider.
There is plenty of room to grow.
«Alternative energy in Ukraine’s energy balance holds only about 4% of total energy consumption, so the prospects of its development are very high,» said Maria Yakovleva, board member of State Agency for Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency. «And the level of a green tariff makes investors seek opportunities in the country.»
Scatec Solar’s Global Plans
A worldwide player in the solar industry, Scatec produces a total of 322 MW of electricity in Czech, Honduras, Jordan, Rwanda and South Africa.
As part of an aggressive expansion, the company plans to reach 1,300-1,500 MW in operation or under construction by the end of next year. Additional projects in early development could bring capacity to over 2,300 MW, nine times the current level.