In short, the 'solar' potential of Ukraine is quite high. Initial data show that the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth's surface places Ukraine even ahead of the solar energetics industry leader – Germany. However, while Germany settles half the electric power consumption by means of solar energy, our country yet cannot boast all over the world with achievements in the field of using solar radiation, instead being restricted to a maximum of 11% of alternative generating capacities in the overall balance of electric power production, while using all of the alternative energy generating sources.

The main problem is that the really high solar potential of Ukraine's territory is not made use of to the maximum, while the country is getting ever more immersed in the energy crisis.

Now, some more details:

  • Ukraine belongs to the regions with an average intensity of solar radiation, whereas by this criterion the country territory is further divided into four regions, namely: the Centre, West, South and South-East. Annually, 1,200 kWh of solar radiation fall per square meter on the average.
  • The potential of using solar radiation increases from the north-west (1,070 kW/m2) to the south-east (1,440 kW/m2) with the highest rate observed in the Crimea. The highest efficiency of the solar power plants in the southern regions can be observed from April to October, while in the north ones – from May to September.
  • If we succeeded in at least partially mastering this inexhaustible resource, Ukraine could use it for countering its gas-dependence, which would help the state save over 5 billion cubic meters of gas, i.e. circa a quarter of the total annual gas imports.

Implementation of solar energetics projects in Ukraine

Currently, over 100 SPP projects are being implemented in Ukraine while at different stages using both Ukrainian and foreign investments, with the total capacity of the projects exceeding 1,000 MW. By 2017, analysts predict total capacity increase to 3.087 GW with the territory of Crimea taken into consideration, although this figure can be achieved only with government support and transparency of legislation regarding the industry.

This proves necessary to strengthen the position of investors as well as guarantee investment protection, since in fact solar energetics in Ukraine is quite attractive for investors due to reduction of the equipment costs several-fold, although they remain somewhat scared by the current situation in the country.

A choice is to be made

Ukraine's dependence on traditional energy sources, the imported ones at that, has played a low-down trick on the country. While being reluctant to invest in the renewable energetics, the country has signed its own energy dependence-warrant and plunged deeper into the energy crisis.

Ukraine has to make a vital choice: either to continue investing in external energy sources or to finance use of its own resources. At that, solar energy could make a significant contribution to achieving the energy independence by Ukraine, since with a gradual reduction in the cost of technologies the cost of solar energy is also constantly decreasing.