Solar power boom in Ukraine

By October 3, 2019 Country profile, Ukraine
Solar Energy Market Ukraine

The solar power industry in Ukraine is currently showing one of the highest levels of growth in Europe. In 2018 Ukraine was among Top 5 European countries in terms of added solar power generating capacities.

The Energy Strategy adopted by the Ukrainian Government aims to increase the share of renewable energy in power mix to 25% by 2035 (4% now). This share is still very low compared to the European countries and the growth potential is huge.

According to the data provided by the National Energy and Utilities Regulatory Commission of Ukraine (the NEURC), from 2017 to 2018 the installed capacities of solar energy plants increased by 87% (+716 MWp) and reached 1389 MW. During the first semester of 2019, the overall capacity almost doubled and reached 2641 MW (+1253 MWp).

Hence, 2019 will become by far the record year for the Ukrainian solar power industry in terms of installed capacity. According to the latest published by the SolarPower Europe report, Ukraine was recognised as TOP-20 global solar PV markets prospects for 2019-2023 with 32% of average annual growth. The report says that Ukraine will reach around 7-8 GW of installed capacity by 2023.

There are three main reasons for this uptrend:

  • Market liberalisation in 2015 when the government’s efforts allowed to break the monopoly of several business groups and let the foreign investors to access the market;
  • Regulation changes and implementation of the Feed-in Tariff for green projects, which is one of the highest in the world making it very attractive for domestic and foreign investors;
  • VAT/Customs duties exemption for the import in Ukraine of the PV modules and inverters.

We should also mention that the increasing capacity during the last 3 years was mainly delivered by the solar utility-scale power plants. For example, of 717 MW of new solar power capacities only 70 MW were installed by the households and the rest by the solar power plants in 2018.

Biggest solar power plants projects

After the implementation by the Ukrainian Government of legislative initiatives and supportive mechanisms, we witness the construction boom of the solar power plants. Since 2014, 115 solar plants were commissioned and around 12000 households installed solar panels.

Ukrainian group DTEK Renewables finished on March 2019 the construction of the largest in Ukraine Nikopol Solar plant with the total capacity of 246 MW.

In parallel, multiple foreign investors come to Ukraine. For instance, Norwegian solar plants developer Scatec Solar launched multiple projects and dispose a significant project portfolio of 229 MW under construction and a pipeline of 274 MW in this country. Another big player of Ukrainian solar market is a Chinese company CNBM which owns 10 solar power plants with a total installed capacity of 267 MW in the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions.

London-based alternative asset management company VR Capital Group in collaboration with Ukrainian’s investment fund ICU opened on March 2019, a giant 64 MW plant in Kamianets-Podilskyi which they claim to be the 2nd largest in the country.

Acciona Energy, large Spanish company developing renewable energy projects, entered the Ukrainian market with the construction of 57.2 MWp Dymerka PV plant in the region of Kyiv and launched the construction of another 2 PV projects with a total capacity of 43.7 MWp in Odesa region.

Perspectives

Starting from 2020 there will be some major changes in the support mechanism of the renewable energy in Ukraine following the adoption by the Ukrainian Parliament of the Law 8442-d. The main change is that from 2020, solar plants with a generating capacity exceeding 1 MWp and wind plants exceeding 5MWp (unless operating three or fewer turbines) must participate in auctions. It’s still possible for investors to sign the PPA with the higher FIT until the end of 2019.

This mechanism should become more transparent and comprehensive for foreign investors to support the further growth of renewables in Ukraine.

Intertrade Consulting is an international support, cooperation and development agency with a strong presence in Ukraine. Our company can support you on all the stages of the solar power plant project: development, design, EPC, grid connection. We also provide the legal support for energy companies related to land questions, building permits, government relations, PPA signature etc.

Please, contact us, for more information.

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