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Ukraine emerges from winter with surplus of capacity, sufficient reserves of resources – Energy Minister

KYIV. March 6 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine managed to overcome the severe consequences of Russian missile strikes, which damaged about 50% of the energy infrastructure, for the 21st day in a row, the energy system has been balancing supply and demand without limiting consumers, Energy Minister Herman Haluschenko said at an expanded meeting of the presidium of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities under the President of Ukraine.

“We are coming out of a difficult winter fully provided with fuel: as of February 3, 2023, coal reserves in the warehouses of thermal power plants and combined heat and power plants amount to 1.160 million tonnes. This is 375,000 tonnes more than on the same date last year. Natural gas reserves in underground storage facilities in Ukraine amount to – 9.7 billion cubic meters (about last year’s volumes),” the minister said on Saturday in Lviv.

Haluschenko stressed that this result was achieved due to the early completion of repairs at nuclear power units, the prompt restoration of a number of thermal generation units, favorable weather conditions, an increase in electricity production at hydroelectric power plants and an increase in generation at solar power plants.

The Minister of Energy recalled that the military influence of the aggressor on the Ukrainian energy system was and remains unprecedented: since October, there have been 14 massive missile strikes and 17 attacks by groups of kamikaze drones. Key energy facilities were hit – thermal power plants, combined heat and power plants, hydro and hydro storage stations, transmission system substations, and part of the generating capacities is under temporary occupation.

“Due to such terrorist attacks, unprecedented in modern history, there was a shortage of generating and transformer capacity in the energy system of Ukraine. In the most critical period, the number of disconnected consumers exceeded 13.5 million metering points, which is more than 80% of subscribers,” the minister said.

At the same time, he stressed that Ukrainian power engineers were able to keep the energy system intact, provide the basic needs of critical infrastructure facilities and the order of power supply for all other categories of consumers.

Haluschenko also noted that preparations for the next heating season had already begun. In particular, repairs of damaged generating capacities are being carried out, which are worth restoring. The restoration of the data transmission system and distribution systems is underway, projects are being implemented for the construction of small gas generation, dispersed across settlements and individual consumers.

Also, according to him, the active development of renewable energy, both industrial facilities and small renewable generation on the consumer side, is expected. In addition, government programs are planned to stimulate the construction of backup power systems for critical infrastructure and small households, providing for the installation of solar panels or wind turbines with energy storage installations, an appropriate hybrid inverter that can operate both offline and as part of synchronization with the grid.