Saving Ukraine’s Energy System: Electric Independence from the Aggressor State

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

On February 24th, Ukraine cut off its electrical circuit from Russia and Belarus and began to operate in isolation. To prove that our system is self-sufficient and stable, our country had to endure three days without the help of third parties.

Even though it was hazardous for Ukraine to fully cut its network off due to a high risk of infrastructural damage, the experiment turned out to be a true success. 

It is now clear that it is impossible for Ukraine to rejoin the Russia and Belarus circuit, which is why the EU’s recent decision to grant Ukraine urgent membership in the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) is both timely and pivotal, according to Dixi Group’s Olena Pavlenko and Bogdan Serebrennikov.

In their article Electrical Membership in the EU: What Will Rescue the Ukrainian Energy System in Times of War with Russia, they state that joining the ЕNТSO-E system enables Ukraine to be fully independent of Russia and Belarus, which is paramount in times of war. It also boosts potential investors’ interest in Ukraine’s electricity sector, making it more transparent and open.

Besides, ENTSO-E’s integration helps Ukrainian market players understand EU rules better and increase the electrical energy trade volumes. Building up the resilience of the Common Energy System would make it easier to support the subsequent development of renewable energy resources and their integration into Ukraine’s electrical energy market, which is in accordance with the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement. 

Ukraine’s experiment of isolating its electrical circuit exceeded all expectations. Despite the war, the threat of destroying the network, and temporary loss of the Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant, Ukrenergy successfully endured the isolated regime. Rejoining Belarus and Russia is thus unnecessary for two reasons. Firstly, neither of them would necessarily agree to re-synchronize. Besides, it is simply wrong to restore any ties with the aggressor and its ally.

The decision to connect the Ukrainian energy system to ENTSO-E has already been taken. Once all the technical aspects have been fixed, the synchronization will begin, giving Ukraine a long-term prospect of joining the European energy system.

Read more in Olena Pavlenko and Bogdan Serebrennikov’s article Electrical Membership in the EU: What Will Rescue the Ukrainian Energy System in Times of War with Russia.

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