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Renewable energy sources as opportunities for improving energy efficiency in Ukrainian oblasts

The Ukrainian economy continues to be one of the most energy-intensive in Europe. Its industry is responsible for nearly 40 per cent of the country’s total natural gas consumption. The second-largest user group is Ukrainian society, which is responsible for around 30 per cent of all natural gas consumption. This indicates a need for education on energy efficiency for end-users.

In an era of increasing demand for energy accompanied by the steady depletion of primary fuel resources (coal, natural gas and crude oil), the issue of rational energy use is gaining prominence. Renewable energy sources are an area of the economy that requires a systemic approach and support.

To increase the amount of energy from renewable sources in the overall energy balance, a consolidated set of actions need to be taken by central and local government administrations, and new laws and financial mechanisms need to be introduced. This will not be possible without social action, without including local governments, entrepreneurs, individual investors and residents themselves in the development of renewable energy. That is why dissemination of knowledge about the possible uses of renewable energy sources (RES) and the benefits associated with using RES is very important.

Renewable energy sources as opportunities for improving energy efficiency in Ukrainian oblasts

The aim of the project was to prepare oblast and district/municipal administrations, institutions and agencies, as well as entrepreneurs operating in the Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Odessa oblasts, to implement solutions that utilise RES. The project was implemented in two key phases.

The first one involved the organisation of expert workshops on RES in the respective Ukrainian oblasts. The purpose of these workshops was to transfer knowledge on the use of RES with the aim of increasing energy efficiency. Workshop participants included representatives of provincial and district/municipal administrations, representatives of various organisations and institutions, as well as entrepreneurs interested in RES.

The second phase of the project included the organisation of a study tour of Poland’s Podkarpackie voivodship, with the purpose of transferring best practices from the region regarding the utilisation of RES to the relevant Ukrainian oblasts. Representatives of each of the partner oblasts took part in the study tour. As part of the tour, the Ukrainian partners were given presentations of sample RES investments in the Podkarpackie voivodship.

Renewable energy sources as opportunities for improving energy efficiency in Ukrainian oblasts

Implementation of the project led to the following direct results:

1.           Two hundred four people, including representatives of oblast and district/municipal administrations in the Lviv, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Odessa oblasts and representatives of various organisations, institutions and enterprises interested in RES took part in focused expert workshops. The turnout ended up being 2.5 times greater than initially expected. The heightened interest in the subject matter of the workshops could be seen not only in the high attendance numbers, but also in the lively discussions that took place, as well as in the number of detailed questions asked by participants.

2.           Twenty people took part in a study tour of the Podkarpackie voivodship. In the course of the visit, the chair of the Board of the Ukrainian National Association for Renewable Energy Sources met the members of the Provincial Fund for Environmental Protection in Rzeszów and representatives of the Municipal District Heating Company in Rzeszów. These relationships have been maintained since the completion of the project. Several delegations of the Ukrainian National Association for Renewable Energy Sources visited Poland again in the context of the implementation of specific RES technologies in the respective municipal utility sectors of Ukraine.

The achievement of the direct project deliverables contributed further to the dissemination among local governments, entrepreneurs, individual investors and, in general, the inhabitants of Ukraine of knowledge and awareness of possibilities for the use of RES and of the attendant benefits.