Photo credit: Brandon Hartwig / UNDP Ukraine

Kyiv, 21 March 2019 – The main sources of biomass in Ukraine are waste and agricultural residues (straw, corn and sunflower stems), along with purposefully grown energy crops (willow, poplar, and miscanthus). Use of biomass as a fuel to produce thermal energy to meet heating and hot water supply needs has significant economic benefits, as it will enable reduction in heating costs and achievement of a greenhouse gases emissions reduction of more than 8.0 million tons of СО2 by 2020.

 “Biomass is one of the most promising renewable energy sources. Despite its limited use in Ukraine, biofuels and waste accounted for 80 per cent of renewable energy production in the country in 2017,” said Yevhen Groza, manager of the UNDP/GEF project “Development and Commercialization of Bioenergy Technologies in the Municipal Sector in Ukraine”. He added that the bioenergy sector in Ukraine was constantly growing, with a 43 per cent per year increase in production of biofuels and wastes and 33 per cent annual increase in total supply of primary energy from biofuels and wastes. In total, bioenergy replaced 3.8 billion m3 of natural gas in 2017.

Ukraine’s energy sector is significantly dependent on the importing of fossil fuels – natural gas, oil and coal – which poses a serious risk to the country's energy security. In 2017, the cost to Ukraine of imported energy products was over $11 billion. A reduction in these costs could be achieved through developing renewable energy sources, producing its own natural gas, improving energy efficiency and economic growth.

Ukraine is already applying the best European practices on the use of biomass for municipal heat and hot water services. The participants of a UNDP-organised study tour on 20-21 March 2019 – including city mayors, village councils’ heads and heating experts – could see this firsthand when visiting bioenergy objects in Cherkasy, Kyiv, and Zhytomyr oblasts. Most of the cities and villages whose representatives joined the tour are implementing bioenergy projects with technical assistance from the UNDP project.

During the study visit, around 20 representatives of municipalities visited functioning agricultural boiler houses, learned more about energy crop cultivation and production of fuel pellets and briquettes, and also met manufacturers of biofuel boilers.

In particular, the participants visited boiler houses with solid fuel boilers in Kyiv and Zhytomyr oblasts, the energy crop plantation of the Institute of Bioenergetic Cultures and Sugar Beets at the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences in Ksaverivka (Kyiv oblast), an energy poplar plantation in Markushi (Zhytomyr oblast), a boiler production plant and straw pellets in Uman (Cherkasy oblast), and equipment for production of straw briquettes in Kochubeyivka (Kyiv oblast). The knowledge and experience gained will enable the municipalities to ensure successful commissioning of heat supply facilities that received technical assistance from the UNDP project.

Between 7 July and 10 August 2018, UNDP and the GEF held a competition for biomass heating project proposals. Municipalities, communal institutions (schools, hospitals, kindergartens), and private commercial entities providing heat energy to municipalities or district heating systems from all over Ukraine could submit their project proposals for the establishment of autonomous agrarian biomass boiler-houses,  providing heat facilities for public institutions; boiler houses and combined agricultural biomass heat and power systems in centralized heat supply systems. Out of the 42 applications from 19 oblasts of Ukraine, 15 projects were selected for technical and financial assistance to supply heat using agricultural biomass.

Background information:

UNDP project “Development and Commercialization of Bioenergy Technologies in the Municipal Sector in Ukraine” implemented with the Global Environment Facility support, aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by increasing use of biomass energy as a fuel source for heating and hot water in the municipal sector in Ukraine.

Within the project, UNDP is promoting the use of biomass for heat and hot water supply to social facilities, including schools, hospitals and kindergartens in Ukraine. In particular, during the four-year project implementation period, 13 boilers on agricultural biomass have been installed in Cherkasy, Donetsk, Kyiv, and Zhytomyr oblasts; pilot projects on energy crops cultivation (energy willow) for their use as fuel for heat and hot water supply services have been implemented at the local level in Zakarpattia, Ivano-Frankivsk and Poltava oblasts.

Media inquiries:

Yuliia Samus, Communications Team Leader, UNDP Ukraine,,

Georgiy Geletukha, Senior bioenergy expert at UNDP/GEF project “Development and Commercialization of Bioenergy Technologies in the Municipal Sector in Ukraine”,

7 bioenergy objects in Ukraine: UNDP-organised study tour

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