Bioenergy: the future of Ukraine?

Oct 18, 2016

Innovative and sustainable heating systems take ground in Kyiv: biomass boilers, if emulated, can cut public spending on heating in schools by up to 60%, and significantly contribute to Ukraine’s effort to improve its energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint.

The first three biomass, straw-fired boilers ever installed in Kyiv were inaugurated today at the National Ecology and Nature Centre for Youth of Ukraine by UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Regional Director in Europe and the CIS, Cihan Sultanoglu, as innovative and sustainable heating systems that will help promote biomass use and its benefits for heating and water services in Ukraine.

Energy savings benefit Ukraine's independence, international commitments, public budgets, investments, and...environmental protection.

Biomass cycle

Energy savings and use of renewables for all sectors of the economy is a priority for Ukraine, which depends on external supplies for over 50% of its energy needs and has one of the world’s most energy intensive economies.

These biomass boilers, as part of a wider UNDP project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to finance biomass energy systems over the next four years, support Ukraine’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, improve energy efficiency across different industries, and expand the use of renewable energy.

Indeed, installing such biomass burning boilers in the 17,000 schools financed by the State budget could reduce public spending on heating by up to 60%, allowing the funds saved to be redirected towards other educational needs in the country.

Overall, this initiative is expected to help the Government of Ukraine implement the “Energy Strategy of Ukraine to 2030”, particularly to reach 7% of the country’s annual primary energy supply for heating and hot water services supplied by agricultural biomass. It will also help mitigate climate change and help Ukraine comply with a number of European directives, while contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Biomass: upcycling waste into energy for an economic win-win.

Bioenergy

But bioenergy stemming from agricultural waste also makes economic sense: these boilers are produced in Ukraine and run on locally-grown biomass, which it is one of the most promising energy sources in Ukraine, which, as one of the world’s largest exporter and producer of oilseeds and sugar beets, has plenty of agricultural residues that can be used to generate energy.

The use of a modern, sustainable and cost-efficient and innovative system for heating and hot water supply in an educational setting such as the National Ecology and Nature Centre, provides a real opportunity to raise students, teachers and parents’ awareness of energy-efficiency challenges facing Ukraine. However investment from the private sector remains necessary needed if Ukraine is to implement biomass energy on a large scale.

Watch the photo gallery of the Biomass boilers inauguration

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