Creating more energy security in Ukraine

Worker restoring a substation
One of the restored substations

The Ukrainian electricity grid has been severely affected by the Russian campaign of aggression, with infrastructure severely damaged and production capacity reduced to around half of the pre-war level. For example, 41 out of 94 high-voltage switchgears have to some extent sustained major damage. This is repeatedly leading to power outages, instability of the high-voltage networks and restrictions to the already demanding everyday lives of Ukrainians.

This is why KfW Development Bank is supporting the country on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development with the repair, renewal and protection of the electricity infrastructure in order to help secure the electricity supply. It was not until October that KfW issued a grant of EUR 76 million to the Ukrainian transmission system operator Ukrenergo. Further commitments are planned.

Securing the electricity supply

This is not the first sum KfW has provided to the Ukrainian energy sector on behalf of the German Federal Government. In total, more than EUR 220 million in loans and grants have already been committed to create maximum energy security despite the ongoing Russian attacks. This is particularly important during the cold season to keep water and heating systems running.

The current tranche of EUR 76 million will be used to make rapid repairs to the grid while upgrading it, to erect or repair various substations, and to achieve higher overall energy efficiency. In addition, protective structures will be set up to shield facilities from further attacks.

The repairs and rebuilding measures involve the use of automated digital control technology, which is helping to further integrate the Ukrainian grid into the wider interconnected European grid. In addition, the innovations help the grid to make use of and supply more renewable energies, which also creates more energy security. This is because only a flexible, modern grid and exchange options with the European electricity network can compensate for fluctuations in production, as typically occur when generating electricity from solar and wind power.

“Getting through the coming winter better”

“These measures are set to improve the energy supply, especially for consumers in the western part of the country, whose energy infrastructure has been hit by Russian rockets and drones, as well as front-line areas,” stated Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, Chairman of the Executive Board of Ukrenergo at the signing of the agreement in October.

The German ambassador to Ukraine, Martin Jäger, added: “The funds will help Ukraine to get through the coming winter better.” On the occasion of the latest grant for the Ukrainian energy sector, KfW Executive Board member Christiane Laibach said that this could improve both the “framework conditions for economic activities” and the “daily life of the population”. Both are urgently required in Ukraine.