How to see light and warmth behind the forest?

On the development of the alternative energy market in Ukraine.

Petro Bahrii: Electricity and heat generated from renewable energy sources already occupy a significant share in our market

Ukraine’s energy market has long been trying to get rid of monopoly. One of the ways to achieve these goals is to develop the alternative energy market. Electricity and heat generated from renewable energy sources already occupy a significant share in our market. At the same time, the development potential remains far from exhausted.

However, we are now seeing a certain skew in the development of alternative energy: solar and wind energy are developing more actively than bioenergy. There are a couple of reasons for this. For example, the cost of producing solar and wind energy has decreased significantly over the past couple of years, while the green tariff has remained at the same level. But the cost of equipment for biomass stations has not changed.

The main advantage of bioenergy is that it can produce both heat and electricity. In terms of Ukraine’s dependence on imported gas, this is very important. At the same time, bioenergy does not require maneuverable capacities, it works stably and predictably thus having a positive impact on the energy system of our country.

The second obvious advantage is directly related to the development of the country’s forest and land market. Both agricultural waste and forest waste can become raw materials for the operation of stations.

For the investor, this is a clear signal that Ukraine can provide something to work with, and this will also allow to predict the volume and cost as raw materials are a significant part of the costs. For agriculture, this is an opportunity to sell waste at a good price and increase the profitability of their business. In addition, it will open a new market for growing energy crops.

Today, Ukraine has the opportunity to grow bioenergy crops in such quantities as to ensure a multiple increase in the capacity of bioenergy and biofuel production, without compromising the potential growth of traditional agricultural areas. Processing this volume of raw materials will not only completely eliminate the import of gasoline, but also allow to enter the European and middle Eastern markets with the supply of ecological fuel.

According to the calculations of the “Ukrteplo” company Ukraine can provide energy industry annually with 7 million cubic meters of wood waste and 30 million tons of agricultural biomass.

Based on the consumption, proposed in the energy strategy of Ukraine, of 80 thousand tons raw materials per year by Bio combined heat and power plants with a capacity of 18 MW, the additional capacity potential is 5,500 MW per year. Ukraine’s additional energy demand in the coming years will be about 24000 MW per year. Therefore, the demand for bioenergy is guaranteed to be present on the market.

Bioenergy can significantly contribute to getting rid of the need for natural gas import. Now, according to official data, Ukraine produces 21 billion cubic meters of gas, it’s about the same amount as the country imports. Large-scale introduction of biogas plants will allow to reduce the volume of gas import by 7-11 billion cubic meters in the next 1-2 years.

Existing technological solutions of biogas plants make them appealing for gasification and heat supply of rural settlements. Thus, according to experts, the herd waste of 20-25 heads of cattle can ensure the operation of a station that produces up to 40 cubic meters of gas and 80 kW / h of electricity. This is enough to cover the energy needs of both the livestock unit itself and approximately 10-12 households.

You can also buy a biogas plant with a capacity of up to 300 cubic meters of gas per day on the market. The obvious advantage of biogas plants is that they allow, on the one hand, to solve the problems of agricultural waste, on the other hand, to produce additional fertilizers. Expert calculations show that the direct economic effect of one such unit is quite significant. It is also very significant that the production of biogas plants can be safely established at machine-building enterprises in Ukraine.

However, the implementation of cost-effective bioenergy projects is hindered by the legal unresolved issue of connecting to heat supply networks. It doesn’t serve the monopolistic structures that “sit on those networks” well to lose their market share. And the situation can’t work itself out without government interference. The “green” tariff and the introduction of non-tariff measures of state support for bioenergy are also essential.

The material was taken from Dengi.ua