Panel discussion BOOSTING ENERGY SECURITY WITH LOCAL RENEWABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS, organized by UCN, NGO «Ecoaction», CAN EECCA and Inforce-Europe, touched on energy independence of countries and hromadas.
Event moderator – member of Board, NGO «Ecoaction» Anna Akerman – has opened the floor with picture of solar power station ruined by a missile, and commented on huge difference in time and resources needed to renovate renewables and conventional fossil facilities. The former may be repaired in some weeks, while the latter require months and considerable funds.
Maksym Babayev, UCN coordinator, was the first speaker to take the floor. He pointed out that the war has shown the boundaries of Ukraine’s centralized power facilities, therefore, now most regions are in a series of blackouts.
«Citizens and hromadas have the right to access electricity regardless of what goes on in the world.»
Also, Babayev has given examples of how renewable energy facilities helped to survive under occupation:
– Myla, Kyivs’ka region. Two solar power stations mounted on roofs provided electricity for cellular phones for a month, powered water pump and other electrical appliances;
– Hornostaypil, Kyivs’ka region. Over 50 households were connected to solar grids to charge phones and power small appliances; this very town had solar modules on top of a hospital;
– energy cooperative «Sun city» in Slavutych: the locals have adapted to satisfy their energy needs from solar power stations.
In the future, it is very important to introduce policies that intensify implementation of combined renewable solutions in hromadas so that their population gets social, economical, and climate advantages.
Michael Bloss, German Deputy of European Parliament has pointed out that the current biggest challenge for the EU is further procurement of fossils from russia. Thus, the EU aids russian warfare.
The representative from European Parliament has marked the change in uttered trends: now renewables are distinctly considered to be «the energy of peace». Yet there are numerous challenges for hromadas, as people first think how come they pay their bills. Inflation is at the same time part of addiction to russian fossils and milestone of russian war strategy.
The EU tests practices of energy independence, with special attention to European Green Deal and RePower EU, but changes have to be radical to defeat the challenge. It is necessary to present brand new market of energy, decentralize energy supply as much as possible, re-design energy market and support local hromadas in production of their own renewable energy.
The deputy says that an issue is still on the agenda: how the EU can help Ukraine make it through the war.
The next to speak on local RES projects experience was Baktygul Chynybaeva, communication manager, CAN EECCA, from Kyrgyzstan. Due to Kirghiz-Tajik confrontation on Kyrgyzstan’s southern border, instability rages: casualties, 132 thousand displaced, 623 buildings destroyed within the conflict, just as critical energy and network infrastructure.
Support from civil society turned out vital, united people launched collection of funds and helped refugees (provided them with accomodation etc). Collected money were spent at solar modules for border guard. The country depends on russian and Kazakh fossil fuel, so this activity was something new for publicity, yet it turned tremendously successful and demonstrated the level of flexibility within stability that even small solar power stations provide.
Currently organizations proceed to collect funds to supply solar modules to schools and hospitals still off-grid.
Gunnar Boye Olesen, coordinator, INFORSE–Europe and SE from Denmark, has spoke about existing and efficient renewable energy technologies widely used within Denmark. Renewables are quite portable and flexible, and offer numerous opportunities for various needs, but one should not neglect energy saving and energy efficiency tools. This speaker has also emphasized on maximum energy supply decentralization possible for hromadas, since “the more local, the more resilient”.
Kostyantyn Krynyts’ky, Head, energy department, NGO «Ecoaction», has pointed out the vital role of energy security and sustainability, while renewable energy facilities in hromadas are currently its basic source. Measures on energy efficiency and energy saving are very powerful, too: plan of renovation has to focus on energy efficient buildings, but this process must already run, even before the war ends.
The expert has also noted that today we all lack available and effective solutions, especially those good for implementation in hromadas.