Energy in Ukraine

Energy in Ukraine is mainly from gas and coal, followed by nuclear and oil.[1] The coal industry has been disrupted by conflict.[2] Most gas and oil is imported, but since 2015 energy policy has prioritised diversifying energy supply.[1]

Zaporizhzhia nuclear station, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe

About half of electricity generation is nuclear and a quarter coal.[1] The largest nuclear power plant in Europe, the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, is located in Ukraine. Fossil fuel subsidies were USD 2.2 billion in 2019.[3] Until the 2010s all of Ukraine's nuclear fuel came from Russia, but now most does not.[4]

In 2020, Ukraine transited more natural gas than any other country in the world[5] and it remains the main transit route for Russian natural gas sold to Europe, which earns Ukraine about $3 billion a year in transit fees, making it the country's most lucrative export service.[6] Although gas transit is declining, over 40 billion cubic metres (bcm) of Russian gas flowed through Ukraine in 2021,[7] which was about a third of Russian exports to other European countries.[8] Some energy infrastructure was destroyed in the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[9][10]


Energy consumption declined in the late 20th century after the breakup of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine has a diversified energy mix, and no fuel takes up more than a third of the country’s energy sources. The primary fuel has traditionally been coal, which dropped to 30% in 2018. Natural gas (28%) and nuclear (24%) follow.[11]


Ukraine has been estimated to possess natural gas reserves of over 1 trillion cubic meters,[12] and in 2018 was ranked 26th among countries with proved reserves of natural gas.[13] Its total gas reserves have been estimated at 5.4 trillion cubic meters.[14] In 2021, Ukraine produced 19.8 billion cubic meters (bcm or Gm3) of natural gas. To satisfy domestic demand of 27.3 bcm that year, Ukraine relied on gas imports (2.6 bcm) and withdrawal from underground storage (4.9 bcm). Winter demand can reach 150 mcm per day.[15] To meet domestic demand, Ukraine plans to increase domestic natural gas output to 27 bcm.[citation needed]

During Soviet times, Ukraine produced a record of 68.7 bcm in 1976. At the time of independence in 1991 production was at 26.6 bcm, and fell in the 1990s to about 18 bcm. Since the mid-2000s production has stabilised between 20 and 21 bcm.[16] According to a report issued by the OECD, over 70% of domestic gas production is extracted by UkrGasVydobuvannya,[17] a subsidiary of the state-owned company Naftogaz. Private gas production companies in Ukraine are DTEK Oil&Gas, Ukrnaftoburinnya, Burisma, Smart Energy, Poltava Petroleum Company, Geo Alliance Group, and KUB-GAS.[18]

Ukraine stopped buying gas from Russia in November 2015 to reduce gas dependence after the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian war,[19] but instead buys it indirectly from traders in Western Europe as part of the Russian gas that transits through Ukraine.[15] In earlier disputes in 2006 and 2008, Russia stopped gas delivery to the country. In 2009, 80% of the European Union gas from Russia was delivered via Ukraine as transit country.[citation needed]


Samarska Coal Mine, near Ternivka

Coal mining has historically been an important industry in Ukraine.[20] Coal mining in Ukraine is often associated with coal-rich Donets basin. However this is not the only coal mining region, other being Lviv-Volhynian basin and Dnieper brown coal mining basin. The Donets basin located in the eastern Ukraine is the most developed and much bigger coal mining region in the country.

Ukraine was until recently, the third largest coal producer in Europe.[21] In 1976, national production was 218 million metric tonnes. By 2016, production had dropped to 41 million metric tonnes. The Donets Black Coal Basin in the eastern Ukraine, with 90% of the nation's reserves, suffers from three connected problems: (1) mines are not profitable enough to sustain capital investment, resulting in twenty-year old mining equipment and processes, (2) the government, taking advice from the International Monetary Fund, has discontinued $600 million annual mining subsidies, and (3) the Ukrainian government refuses to buy from mines controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic and Luhansk People's Republic.


Electricity production by source, 1985–2020

Electricity production fell from 296 TWh in 1991 to 171 TWh in 1999, then increased slowly to 195 TWh in 2007, before falling again.[22]

In 2011, Ukraine joined the European Energy Community, however there has been slow progress on implementing European energy regulations.[23]

In 2014, total electricity production was 183 TWh; 88 TWh from nuclear, 71 TWh from coal, 13 TWh from natural gas, and 9 TWh from hydroelectricity. Electricity consumption was 134 TWh after transmission losses of 20 TWh, with peak demand at about 28 GWe. 8 TWh was exported to Europe. In 2015 electricity production fell to about 146 TWh largely due to a fall in anthracite coal supplies caused by the War in Donbass.[24][25]

On 1 July 2019, a new wholesale energy market was launched, intended to bring real competition in the generation market and help future integration with Europe. The change was a prerequisite for receiving European Union assistance. It led to in increased price for industrial consumers of between 14% to 28% during July. The bulk of Energoatom output is sold to the government's "guaranteed buyer" to keep prices more stable for domestic customers.[23][26]

Grid synchronisation with EuropeEdit

Since 2017 Ukraine sought to divest itself of dependency on the Unified Power System of Russia (UPS) and instead connect westwards to the synchronous grid of Continental Europe, thereby participating in European electricity markets.[27][28] Power lines coupling the country to the grids of neighbouring Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary existed, but were de-energised.

A necessary prerequisite of Ukrainian integration was for the country to successfully demonstrate it was capable of running in a islanded manner, maintaining satisfactory control of its own frequency. To do that would require disconnection from the UPS grid, and a date of 24 February 2022 was set. This proved to be the date Russia invaded Ukraine, but the disconnection nonetheless proceeded to schedule. Ukraine placed an urgent request to synchronise with the European grid to ENTSO-E, the European collective of transmission system operators of which it was a member, and on 16 March 2022 the western circuits were energised, bringing both Ukraine and Moldova, which is coupled to the Ukrainian grid, into the European synchronised grid.[29][30][31] On 16 March 2022 a trial synchronisation started of the Ukraine and Moldova grid with the European grid.[29]

Nuclear powerEdit

Ukraine operates four nuclear power plants with 15 reactors located in Volhynia and South Ukraine.[32] The total installed nuclear power capacity is over 13 GWe, ranking 7th in the world in 2020.[33] Energoatom, a Ukrainian state enterprise, operates all four active nuclear power stations in Ukraine.[34] In 2019, nuclear power supplied over 20% of Ukraine's energy.[35]

70 TWh of electricity generation was nuclear in 2020, which was over 50%.[35] This was the 3rd largest share, only France and Slovakia had a higher share. The largest nuclear power plant in Europe is in Ukraine.

The 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Northern Ukraine was the world's most severe nuclear accident to date.

Lack of coal for Ukraine's coal-fired power stations due to the War in Donbas and a shut down of one of the six reactors of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant led to rolling blackouts throughout the country in December 2014. Due to the Russo-Ukrainian War, the nuclear power plant has been damaged.

Renewable energyEdit

In Ukraine, the share of renewables within the total energy mix is less than 5%.[36]: 27  In 2020 10% of electricity was generated from renewables; made up of 5% hydro,[37] 4% wind,[38] and 1% solar.[39] Biomass provides renewable heat.[36]: 35 


Ukraine signed a loan agreement in-principle for $3.65 billion with the China Development Bank in 2012, during President Viktor Yanukovich's term of office, contingent on the development of agreed development projects in the coal and gas sectors. However, by April 2017 Ukraine had not agreed any suitable projects due to a "lack of convergence in the positions of [Uglesintezgaz] and the energy ministry".[40]

Elementum Energy Ltd owns the most power plants.[41]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c "Ukraine - Countries & Regions". IEA. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  2. ^ "The paradox threatening Ukraine's post-coal future". openDemocracy. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  3. ^ "Fossil-Fuel Subsidies in the EU's Eastern Partner Countries : Estimates and Recent Policy Developments". OECD. Retrieved 2022-03-01.
  4. ^ "Westinghouse and Ukraine's Energoatom Extend Long-term Nuclear Fuel Contract". 11 April 2014. Westinghouse. Archived from the original on 11 April 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
  5. ^ "Ukraine energy profile". International Energy Agency. 2020. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Kyiv's gas strategy: closer cooperation with Gazprom or a genuine diversification". Centre for Eastern Studies. 15 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-10-23.
  7. ^ Reuters (2022-01-04). "Russian gas transit via Ukraine fell 25% in 2021". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  8. ^ Mazneva, Elena. "Ukraine Gas Transit Uninterrupted Amid Local Pipe-Damage Reports". BloombergQuint. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  9. ^ Lock, Samantha (2022-02-27). "Russia-Ukraine latest news: missile strikes on oil facilities reported as some Russian banks cut off from Swift system – live". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  10. ^ Taylor, Kira (2022-02-26). "Ukraine's energy system coping but risks major damage as war continues". Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  11. ^ International Energy Agency (April 2020). "Ukraine energy profile". IEA. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  12. ^ "The Forgotten Potential of Ukraine's Energy Reserves". Harvard International Review. 2020-10-10. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  13. ^ "Ukraine". CIA World Factbook. 1 January 2018.
  14. ^ "Kyiv's gas strategy: closer cooperation with Gazprom or a genuine diversification". Centre for Eastern Studies. 15 July 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-10-23.
  15. ^ a b Reuters (2022-02-24). "Factbox: Ukraine's energy options limited in event of Russian gas disruption". Reuters. Retrieved 2022-02-27. Ukraine has not imported gas directly from Russia since 2015, but it buys it from Western traders as part of the Russian gas that goes through Ukrainian territory to Europe. [..] If Russia maintains gas transit through Ukraine and transit gas pipelines remain operational, Ukraine is able to provide the population and industry with gas. [..] In theory, gas could be imported at up to 40 mcm per day, but this is barely feasible due to a lack of freely available resources in Europe and funds to buy it.
  16. ^ Datskevych, Natalia (2020-02-20). "Top 4 reasons Ukraine's gas production is so low". Business. Kyiv Post. Retrieved 2022-04-10. Figure: Ukraine's gas production in 1991-2019, billion cubic meters
  17. ^ , OECD Report on SOE Reform in the Hydrocarbons Sector in Ukraine
  18. ^ Archived 2020-09-29 at the Wayback Machine Associations of Gas Producers of Ukraine
  19. ^ "Naftogaz open letter: a year without gas imports from Russia". Naftogaz. 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2022-04-10. Today is the first anniversary since Naftogaz stopped importing gas from Russia.
  20. ^ "Photos: How war has devastated Ukraine's coal industry". CNN. 6 February 2022. Retrieved 2022-02-26.
  21. ^ Vorutnikov, Vladislav (May 25, 2015). "Ukrainian Coal: An Industry Divided". Coal Age. Archived from the original on 14 October 2017. Retrieved 13 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Nuclear Power in Ukraine". World Nuclear Association. February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  23. ^ a b Prokip, Andrian (6 May 2019). "Liberalizing Ukraine's Electricity Market: Benefits and Risks". Wilson Center. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  24. ^ "Poroshenko: Ukraine increasing nuclear share to 60%". World Nuclear News. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  25. ^ "Poroshenko: Share of nuclear power grows to 60% amid blockade of trade with Donbas". UNIAN. 16 February 2017. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  26. ^ Kossov, Igor (2 August 2019). "New energy market brings controversy". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  27. ^ "Connecting Ukraine to Europe's Electricity Grid". Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik. 24 November 2021. doi:10.18449/2021C57. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  28. ^ Abnett, Kate; Strzelecki, Marek (1 April 2022). "Explainer: Europe and Ukraine's plan to link power grids". Reuters. Retrieved 1 April 2022.
  29. ^ a b "Continental Europe successful synchronisation with Ukraine and Moldova power systems". ENTSO-E. 16 March 2022. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  30. ^ Böttcher, Philipp C.; Gorjão, Leonardo Rydin; Beck, Christian; Jumar, Richard; Maass, Heiko; Hagenmeyer, Veit; Witthaut, Dirk; Schäfer, Benjamin (15 April 2022). "Initial analysis of the impact of the Ukrainian power grid synchronization with Continental Europe". arXiv:2204.07508.
  31. ^ "Ukraine joins European power grid, ending its dependence on Russia". CBS News. No. 16 March 2022. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 March 2022. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  32. ^ Nuclear fuel imports from Sweden account for 41.6% in H1, balance from Russia, UNIAN (22 August 2016)
  33. ^ "PRIS – Miscellaneous reports – Nuclear Share". Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  34. ^ Energoatom chief Kim overstepped his powers when signing contract, failed to show up for questioning, says interior minister, Interfax-Ukraine (12 June 2013)
  35. ^ a b "Primary energy consumption by source". Our World in Data. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  36. ^ a b "Ukraine Energy Profile" (PDF).
  37. ^ "Share of electricity production from hydropower". Our World in Data. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  38. ^ "Share of electricity production from wind". Our World in Data. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  39. ^ "Share of electricity production from solar". Our World in Data. Retrieved 2022-02-27.
  40. ^ Karin Strohecker, Pavel Polityuk (14 April 2017). "Ukraine could miss out on up to $3.65 billion of China energy loans". Reuters. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  41. ^ "Ukraine's energy security landscape mapped: where are the country's power plants located?". Power Technology. 2022-03-03. Retrieved 2022-03-09.

External linksEdit