Particular risk is the hostilities in the areas where nuclear power plants are located
Electricity consumption in Ukraine has dropped by 40% since the start of the Russian invasion. This drop is a reflection of the contraction in business activity in the country. For example, the National Bank of Ukraine estimated a 50% drop in GDP compared to the pre-war period that is close to the electricity consumption performance.
On the first day of the Russian invasion, Ukraine disconnected from the energy system of Russia and Belarus. And despite the hostilities, the power system remains stable. Largely, it`s facilitated by reduced volumes of consumption. For the stability of the power system in the future, Ukraine has applied for emergency synchronization with the European ENTSO-E system, that should be done till 14th of March. It gives additional 2 GWt of power, compared to 13.7 GWt at the peak consumption of 4th of March. Thus, Ukraine is no longer dependent on the energy system of Russia and Belarus.
Generation volumes in Ukraine decreased in all areas of the energy sector with some changes in the structure. For example, share of thermal generation grew by 6% and share of nuclear generation fell by 12%.
There is a problem with the transportation of coal to thermal power plants located in combat areas. For example, Zmiivska thermal power plant, Slovianska thermal power plant and Uglegorska thermal power plant. The Ministry of Energy has authorized the use of gas to generate electricity in the event of a shortage of coal. At the same time all coal mines in Ukraine operate at their maximum capacities. Other thermal power plants have sufficient coal reserves.
Nuclear power plants generation volumes decreased by 52%. A particular risk is that the aggressor try to take control under nuclear power plants. For example, Russian military forces captured the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Active battles are taking place in the areas of nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia. This is the first case in the history of mankind when military actions take place near nuclear power plants, that threaten an ecological catastrophe around the world. That’s why Ukrainian energy companies ask NATO and other partners to close the sky under such objects.
Objects of critical infrastructure, incl. energy generation plants are among the main targets of the aggressor. Okhtyrska combined heat and power plant was destroyed as a result of shelling by the aggressor. Kakhovska hydroelectric power station was captured in the first days of invasion. The aggressor’s control over the dams poses a risk of man-made disasters in the regions. Also two thermal power plants Zaporizhzhia and Luhansk was captured and five located in regions of active hostilities.
Read more in the analyst study GMK Center.