The Ministry of Science and Education of Ukraine
National Technical University of Ukraine
on the theme:
5th year student
Ukraine is an energy-rich republic. It has resources of coal, gas and oil. However, there continues to be a shortfall between domestic primary energy production and demand as a result of low investment in domestic capacity. Approximately one-third of Ukraine's primary energy is sourced from coal, while another third is from gas. Nuclear power plays an important role in electricity production, providing 30-40% of electricity supply.
In 1993 renewable energy resources accounted for less than 1% of primary energy demand. This was mainly accounted by the use of large scale hydro to produce electricity, and wood used as a domestic heating fuel. There has been little development of renewable energy due to historically low fossil fuel prices and no need to consider security of energy supply. There has been significant research and development carried out in Ukraine, in particularly wind power and solar power. However, these markets have barely developed beyond demonstration systems. There is considerable renewable resource in Ukraine, but today this has not been widely developed. As fuel prices are raised to market levels and government implements programmes to support and promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, the future role for renewable energy is considerable. In 1996 the National Energy Programme was adopted in Ukrainian parliament, in which much attention is paid to wind, solar and geothermal energy as well as various biomass resources. Particularly the Ukrainian wind fund is designed to support the implementation of 100MW of capacity each year with a target of 2000MW by 2010. The government has also passed a resolution to assist the development of geothermal electric power, which aims to expand installed capacity to 6000 MW over ten years.
Renewable energy installed capacities
There are so many compelling reasons why it is time to move away from using nuclear power and fossil fuels to generate energy: climate change, radioactive contamination, nuclear proliferation, the unsolved problem of nuclear waste, air and water pollution, resource depletion, and of course the need to create a sustainable energy system based on indigenous renewable resources. A global commitment must be made to phase-out nuclear power and fossil fuels. Technology is one of the keys, but the way these technologies are managed and financed is just as important as the way they work. With adequate resourcing this technology can be used to bring an end to the nuclear and fossil fuel nightmare and to start a realistic clean energy programme for future generations.
Energy efficiency equipment should be cost-effective and easy to install. It should also be reliable, durable, and suitable for widespread application. Renewable energy technologies should be convenient to use, easy to operate and maintain, and be economically competitive. They should be long-lasting and their installation and operation should not seriously disrupt human settlements or sensitive ecosystems. Finally, they should generate considerably more energy over a lifetime than is invested in their construction and operation. Central & Eastern Europe can either continue to operate expensive dangerous and polluting nuclear power plants, or begin to implement new policies which will ensure that renewable energy systems are developed by receiving the political and financial support they deserve. It is all too easy to point to old buildings that waste energy, to inefficient industries and so on, but these case studies show that political will can convert old buildings and transform industrial processes. Unfortunately, such commitment still remains the exception rather than the rule. Governments still subsidise and promote the inefficient and polluting technologies of the past. The same is also true of the International Funding Institutions. The region does have the power to change. The successful projects give some examples of how it can be done. Breaking the addiction to nuclear power will require unprecedented political commitment, but the health and security of future generations depend on it. In Central and Eastern Europe, energy efficiency offers one of the best opportunities for lessening dependence on nuclear power and reducing the climate impacts of polluting fossil fuels. However, governments in the region continue to invest large sums of money in nuclear power projects, whilst expenditure on energy conservation has been minimal. Also, the European Union, through Euratom, continues to invest billions of ECU into developing nuclear power in the region. Following the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986, there were numerous energy efficiency studies carried out in Ukraine. These studies developed by institutions such as the World Bank and the European Union have shown a huge potential for energy savings. The Ukrainian government has also set up a State Committee on Energy Conservation which has the task of co-ordinating and implementing a national energy savings strategy. In its draft document for a Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Programme, the Committee has shown that 42-48% of Ukraines total energy consumption (using 1990 as a base load) could be avoided. A balanced energy policy for any country should aim at energy efficiency with a long-term programme of implementation of renewable sources of energy. Energy from the wind, the sun and the water is constantly available and produces few environmental problems compared with other sources of energy. The treatment of wastes such as biomass, extracting geothermal energy from the earth and small-scale hydroelectric schemes also offer good possibilities. The official view from many governments around the world, however, is that renewable energy will be unable to provide more than a small proportion of our energy needs until well into the next century. This pessimistic perception is directly related to the lack of funding which has been made available for research and development. The key to success is good planning and a complimentary mix of renewable energy sources. The role that renewable energy sources could play in Central and Eastern Europe is severely underestimated by decision makers.
The Ukrainian authorities are in favour of wind energy. Development of wind energy technologies and utilization of wind resources are component to its electricity policy. The Ministry of Power and Electrification set a goal of the year 2010 of putting into operation a wind power production capacity providing not less than 5% of the electricity production of Ukraine, the equivalent of 15TWh. This is a good start, but does not go far enough. There are of course many problems associated with the production and implementation of these kinds of technologies in the region. The biggest is that there is almost no market for this equipment: the producers do not know how to sell the solar panel or wind generators they produce, while potential customers do not know where to buy such installations. This once again underscores the urgent need for government, business and banking co-operation and collaboration.
Geothermal Geothermal energy refers to the heat within the earths surface that can be recovered and used for practical purposes. The earths molten core serves as the source of this subterranean heat, which is brought near the surface by underground volcanic activity. Molten rock intrudes into the earths crust, heating groundwater to create the steam and hot water that are potentially recovered as viable geothermal resources. These "hydrothermal" resources are typically recovered with well-drilling equipment, and then employed near the point of extraction. For generating electricity, hot water is brought to the surface and "flashed" to steam by the release of pressure from specially designed vessels. In regions where geothermal resources are of lesser quality, binary plant technology is often employed. This technology uses the hot water to flash a secondary or "working" fluid (one with a lower boiling temperature), thus providing a gas to directly substitute for the steam. The steam is then used to drive a turbine, which consequently operates an attached generator. Internationally, at least 21 of the worlds countries generate electricity from geothermal energy, while up to 40 countries use geothermal resources for domestic direct heating purposes.
There is great potential for wind power energy in Ukraine. If, for instance, the 2,700 sq.km. of shallow waters in the Black and Asov Seas were used for wind turbines, this would cover the entire electricity consumption of Ukraine. After the Chernobyl accident, several attempts were made to develop wind turbines in Ukraine. The most successful has been the joint venture Windenergo. It was created as a collaboration of a number of former military companies that have the necessary manufacturing facilities and a USA-based company, Kennetec Windpower. Their first type of wind turbine is a 107-kW turbine, of which three started their operation in May 1993. Now 60 of these turbines are running near Donuzlav Bay in Cremea. A new model of wind turbine has been developed with a capacity of 250 kW. Three turbines of this type are now in opera