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Main Business — Andriy Zakrevsky: In any case, in the next two years, we can expect power outages

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Andriy Zakrevsky: In any case, in the next two years, we can expect power outages

20 May, 2024
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Andriy Zakrevsky: In any case, in the next two years, we can expect power outages

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Even if energy specialists manage to eliminate the consequences of the recent Russian shelling, Ukrainians will have to live with an electricity deficit for another two years. This was stated by the director of the Energy Research Center, Oleksandr Kharchenko.

This news greatly worried people, so UNIAN turned to an expert in energy issues, Andriy Zakrevsky, chairman of the board of the Nafta and Gas of Ukraine association, for explanations. He explained why there is a critical shortage of generation and imports for the current level of consumption in the domestic energy system, how real the threat of a total blackout in Ukraine is, which regions will have to endure power outages the longest, and what needs to be done to reduce the load on the system and, accordingly, the risks of disconnection.

"Here's the situation in numbers. We have, roughly speaking, a basic 6-8 gigawatts of electricity generated by nuclear power plants. And our peak consumption is around 16-17 gigawatts of electricity. Our technical capability to receive assistance from abroad is about 3.7 gigawatts. In reality, it seems that we only have the ability to purchase and use this energy for just under 2 gigawatts without any problems. So, if during peak consumption we need 17 GW, we simply don't have the means to cover this difference.

According to documents, we can receive an additional 1.7 gigawatts. So, we can expand our import capacity to 3.7 gigawatts.

But in any case, there is and will be a peak shortage of electricity. Recently, it has reached more than 11 gigawatts.

We won't be able to install generators very quickly; their installation everywhere they're needed takes up to two years. Updating large thermal power stations also takes about two years. Therefore, in any case, we can expect power outages in the next two years.

Previously, we had a normal air defense system and reconnaissance. Then our air defense was exposed. And if in winter the Russians simply groped where to fly to hit the target, then after we ran out of air defense missiles and there was no operational reconnaissance regarding missile launcher flights, they simply "knocked out" the generation.

 

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So, at the moment when the Russians had the opportunity to reach our maneuverable generation, they took advantage of it. Nothing has changed, they continue to destroy us as they wanted. It's just that they didn't have such an opportunity before. And now, because our partners did not provide us with enough air defense missiles, this ended so negatively for us at the end of winter.

We have nuclear generation, and it's not going anywhere. It's just that during peak consumption, we will have no electricity. This applies to all regions except Sumy, Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kherson, Dnipro, Mykolaiv, and Odessa. There could be blackouts there. Because if the Russians strike at the crossings over the Dnipro and the Kyiv junctions - which affects Kharkiv and Sumy - then we simply won't be able to deliver even the imports and the electricity we have in Western Ukraine there.

Blackouts across the country cannot happen at all. We have enough basic generation to maintain a normal state of the power grid, except during peak consumption hours. Our nuclear energy provides a sufficient amount of electricity. Moreover, our solar power plants work perfectly well. Lviv and Chernivtsi regions can easily provide themselves with solar energy during the day.

We have no problems with nighttime and daytime consumption. During the day - thanks to alternative energy sources, and at night - thanks to nuclear energy. Our only problem is with peak loads on the power grid.

Peak loads on the power grid are caused not by industry, but by ordinary consumers. So instead of staying at home, go to a cafe in the evening. Businesses already pay more for electricity than ordinary consumers. So, buy coffee from them and bring them some money. At least they will pay taxes.

We don't have maneuverable generation. We have basic generation. We need normal market conditions, not emergency assistance.

We need to raise tariffs a bit. Because it's clear, when we buy electricity for 10 hryvnias and sell it for three, we are in the red by 7 hryvnias. We need to engage the market, buy Ecoflow (portable electricity storage), and spend time outdoors with our children.

It's a matter of changing consumption habits."

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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