Electron Green News
Solar businesses across Europe are coming together to support Ukraine’s energy infrastructure and reduce EU reliance on Russian oil and gas.
The war in Ukraine has wrecked innumerable damage on Ukraine’s infrastructure, homes, schools and hospitals, and its energy systems remain under threat. Russian attacks on Ukraine’s national grid have caused wide-spread blackouts when energy is essential to the livelihood and defence of Ukraine. Attacks have also threatened Ukraine’s backup electricity and its renewables, as almost 90% of Ukraine’s renewables are in areas of active hostility, and half of the country’s wind farms have ceased operating.
Solar systems and batteries are urgently needed to provide independent power and to decentralise energy infrastructure. The Ukraine Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko has said that ‘renewables are the perfect opportunity to decentralise, we need to speed up the process.
SolarPower Europe, in collaboration with the German Solar Industrial Association (BSW) and the Ukrainian Solar Energy Association (ASEU) are leading the ‘Solar Supports Ukraine’ campaign. They are fundraising €300,000 to install solar on schools and hospitals in Ukraine and to build solar battery storage, supporting reliable and independent energy where it is desperately needed. As well as individual donations, corporate donations are offered where businesses can adopt an entire project.
The campaign comes as part of a concerted effort across the European renewable market to support Ukraine. In Italy, the European Commission is supporting the energy company Enel to send solar panels to Ukraine. At the launch in Brussels the CEO Francesco Starace said that the solar PV would ‘generate clean, sustainable and reliable power, helping key public buildings in Ukraine, such as schools and hospitals, to become self-sufficient’ Enel has sent an initial dispatch of 5,700 solar PV panels.
On a larger scale, renewables are integral in every European country to divest from Russian oil and gas, and support Ukraine’s resistance. SolarPower Europe states that ‘energy policy is security policy’, and they are pressuring the EU to set more ambitious targets for renewable energy. SolarPower Europe are inviting current and new members to join its Ukraine Solar Solidarity Taskforce to deliver equipment and expertise and support Ukraine’s energy systems.