Ukrainian plans for 10 GW of electrolysis overcast by war

Oleksandr Riepkin, the president of Ukrainian Hydrogen Council, appearing online at the Budapest Hydrogen Summit. Image source: Ukrainian Hydrogen Council (www.hydrogen.ua)

March 11 (Renewables Now) - Ukraine has the capacity for 10 GW of electrolysers and a map to deliver green hydrogen to the rest of Europe through its vast network of gas pipelines and the Danube waterway, Oleksandr Riepkin, president of Ukrainian Hydrogen Council, said at the Budapest Hydrogen Summit that took place on March 10.

Riepkin appeared online at the in-person Summit to present Ukraine’s barely three-month old draft national hydrogen strategy that his organisation helped prepare, stating that, as much as it was hard to discuss the Council’s hydrogen plans, “if we don’t speak about the future, then we will never have it.”

Ukraine’s hydrogen future currently looks hazy at best, but before Russia’s invasion of the country on February 24, Ukraine featured heavily in the EU hydrogen strategy as the so-called “priority partner” for the union alongside Europe’s Southern Neighbourhood.

Hydrogen Europe, the organisation that represents European companies and stakeholders, included Ukraine and North African countries in its 2x40GW Green Hydrogen Initiative paper. In that paper, it presented a roadmap for the development of a hydrogen market in support of the European Green Deal, whereby 40 GW of electrolyser capacity would be in the EU by 2030, with a further 40 GW located in Ukraine and North Africa.

However, the way things are, the Ukrainian Hydrogen Council was not even in the position to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Hungarian Hydrogen Technology Association. The Hungarian side brought the MoU to the Budapest Hydrogen Summit stage to sign it alone while Riepkin was connected in the background.

As the conflict continues in Ukraine, plans for green hydrogen production in the country are in jeopardy. According to the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy (UARE), roughly 47% of Ukraine’s installed renewables capacity is located in regions where active hostilities are currently taking place. As much as 89% of Ukraine’s wind farms and 37% of ground-mounted solar farms are located in combat zones, with more renewables in the immediate neighbourhood, UARE said.

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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