By BRIAN WINGFIELD
Seeking to lessen its dependence on Russian natural gas,
Ukraine is trying to lure investment to boost its use of
renewable energy such as biomass, wind and solar power.
The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington today hosted US and
industry officials at a conference on the potential for
renewable energy in the eastern Europe
I strongly believe the time has come for US investors
to discover Ukraine, especially its energy, said
Olexander Motsyk, Ukraines ambassador to the US.
Ukraine relies on Russian natural gas for heat and electric
power, a supply put at risk by Russias annexation of
Ukraines Crimea region last month. US and Europe
an officials have been
searching for ways to help Ukraine limit this dependence,
including expediting US approvals of facilities
to export liquefied
natural gas (LNG).
One way to replace Russian gas is through home-grown
renewable energy production, according to Ukrainian
officials. Energy sources such as biomass, wind and solar
currently provide about 2% of Ukraines power-generating
Motsyk said the US and 28-nation EU should consider strategic
partnerships to invest in the country, while acknowledging
the inherent risk, given the economic and security climate.
The event is the start of a road show to
highlight Ukraines renewable-energy potential,
Volodymyr Shalkivski, the embassys first secretary for
energy issues, said in an interview. Future events would be
held at Ukraines consulates in Chicago, New York and
San Francisco, he said, without providing dates.
The resources are there, though a major challenge
is attracting capital, Todd Foley, senior vice president for
and government relations at
the American Council on Renewable Energy, said at the
conference. The Washington-based nonprofit group co-hosted
the event, along with the Energy Industry Research Center, a
According to the research center, biomass and biogas are
the most promising forms of renewable energy for Ukraine, in
part because the nations network of electric-power
lines and substations cant easily adjust to the
addition of significant amounts of wind and solar energy.
Biomass may help replace natural gas used in the
nations 24,000 boiler plants, officials from the Energy
Industry Research Center said.
Vadym Glamazdin, the centers managing director,
said Ukraine is seeking strategic partnerships with U.S.
businesses, though it hasnt identified potential
companies. Babcock & Wilcox of Charlotte, North Carolina,
and closely held Hurst Boiler & Welding of Coolidge,
Georgia, are among companies that make boilers.
Glamazdin said Ukraines heating supply accounts for
about 40% of all gas imported from Russia, which could be
replaced with renewable energy within three to five years.
By 2030, renewables could account for about 15% of
Ukraines electricity supply with adequate investment,