Analyzing Ukraine’s looming energy crisis

22 December 2021, 09:08 AM

Lessons from last year’s energy crisis in Ukraine have revealed another path to avoiding a repeat of such a crisis this winter, Alexander Parashchiy, Head of Research at Concorde Capital, a Ukrainian investment bank, told NV on Dec. 22.

Parashchiy said the Ukrainian government’s mistakes in energy consumption planning and suboptimal green energy output caused Ukraine to burn enormous additional quantities of coal across its power plants in 2020.

This year, Ukraine’s Energy Ministry seems to have done a much better job at projecting energy consumption, and Parashchiy thinks the country may yet navigate its way out of another crisis in the coming months.

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As of Dec. 22, Ukrainian coal reserves have grown by 15 percent, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said at a briefing on Dec. 21. Ukraine has already received 400,000 tons of coal in December, brought to the country by sea. “Russia has launched an energy blockade of Ukraine (since November), blocking the transit of coal Ukraine purchased from Kazakhstan,” Halushchenko said.

In December, Ukraine accepted six cargo vessels carrying 400,000 tons of coal total. The government further expects four more vessels to bring another 300,000 tons of coal to Ukraine by the end of the year, the minister added.

Parashchiy outlined his view on the necessary conditions for avoiding rolling blackouts later this winter:

·       Supplying coal-burning thermal power plants with at least 63,000 tons of coal per day throughout January and February.

·       Ensuring that nuclear power plants operate at peak efficiency and without interruptions.

·       The absence of major weather emergencies.

·       Sustaining the current level of net power imports.

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