Ukraine’s problems with the national energy transmission system

Ukraine is facing energy shortages due to technical problems occurred on February 2nd and 3rd at the thermal power plants of Zaporozhye and Kurakhovskaya. This event underlines the current risky situation of Ukraine energy transmission system and Kyiv’s necessity of improving its domestic energy production and distribution.

According to the Belarus-1 TV channel, Ukraine appealed to Belarus with a request for emergency supplies of electricity (500 MW) after Zaporozhye TPP and Kurakhovskaya TPP stopped working and six out of 15 power units were shut down. This event generated a shortage of electricity in the central regions of Ukraine.

Earlier local sources reported that there is a critical situation with coal reserves in the warehouses of Ukrainian thermal power plants. They are currently 5.5 times less than the values of last year. Also, due to frosts and a shortage of coal for thermal power plants, Ukraine resumed importing Russian electricity for a few hours even though the volume of deliveries is currently insignificant. It should be noted that Ukraine periodically introduces and then cancels a ban on the import of electricity from Russia.

Why this matters? Because after 2014 Ukraine has experienced several problems in its domestic energy system. Although the country has large potentiality thanks to its natural resources, Ukraine is still experiencing significant problems in energy production and transmission. Therefore, the Ukrainian government needs large investments to modernise Ukraine’s generation capacity, particularly hydro and thermal power plants. The improvement of the Ukrainian energy transmission system is fundamental to avoid energy losses and at the same time supply the necessary amount of energy in every region of the country.

The need to improve its national energy system and generation capacity might push the Ukrainian government to open the country to foreign direct investments (FDIs) and allow international investors to exploit the situation to get their foothold in the country.