Nowadays, biofuels are very relevant due to the war in Ukraine, “accidents” in the Nord Streams, and the world’s rejection of blue fuel in favor of alternative energy sources. This is a chance for Ukraine to enter the European “green” market. These are crazy funds that Ukraine can earn —an opinion. 

In April, German Vice Chancellor and Minister of Economy Robert Habek came to Ukraine to discuss Ukraine’s recovery and to consolidate its support of Ukrainians.

In just over a year of the war, the Germans overestimated their attitude to military aid to our country, fortunately, on our side. Now the weapons from the Bundeswehr go much faster, and the Ukrainian military has the opportunity to undergo training in Germany. 

There is also a shift in cooperation in the energy field and renewable energy sources.

At the end of March, Germany announced that it was considering the modernization of the Ukrainian GTS for hydrogen transportation. Moreover, the Germans are willing to pay extra for Ukrainian biofuel – 400 euros for 1,000 m³ of methane produced from waste and approximately 100 euros for 1,000 m³ of biomethane from corn, pulp, or sugar beet silage.

In my opinion, this is an outstanding prospect because the potential of biogas from this raw material is 3.8 billion cubic meters, from corn silage – 2.7 billion cubic meters, from other animal husbandry and processing industry waste – 1.3 billion cubic meters.

As for biohydrogen, the prospects here are excellent. According to estimates of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, in general, Ukraine can produce about 505 billion m³

The topic of biofuels is very relevant, primarily because of the war in Ukraine, “accidents” in the Arctic Streams, and the world’s rejection of blue fuel in favor of alternative energy sources.

Germany is ready to invest in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transportation system to purchase bio-hydrogen from us. Do you believe in the aspirations of the Germans? No? But three pieces of news only strengthen the German transition to alternative energy sources.

  1. This month, Germany shut down the three youngest reactors: Isaar-2 (KKI 2) – Bavaria, Emsland (KKE) – Lower Saxony, Neckarwestheim 2 GKN 2 – Baden-Württemberg. On April 15, the electricity operation license following the Atomic Energy Act (AtG) expired. The Germans announced this event at the end of March this year and called it a “green” breakthrough.
  2. According to the reports of the German government, from the beginning of 2023, Germany ultimately refused the supply of energy carriers from Russia – coal, gas, and oil. Starting January 1 this year, Russian oil will no longer enter Germany via pipeline. According to the German government, this is one of the essential steps to an environmentally friendly and anti-crisis energy supply.
  3. For Europe and Germany, the transition to biohydrogen is a climate priority. In September, the German government made a breakthrough in using hydrogen-powered trains. This innovation was introduced by the railway operator LNVG, abandoning diesel-powered trains.

This is a chance for Ukraine to enter the European “green” market. We can provide from 3 to 10% of all European demand. These are insane funds that Ukraine can earn. And not only that. The trump card lies in the Ukrainian GTS, even in its current form.

The Ukrainian gas transportation system is one of the largest gas transportation systems in the world, which performs two functions:

  • a provision of natural gas to consumers in Ukraine;
  • transit of natural gas to the countries of Western and Central Europe.

And we need to modernize the GTS precisely to transit “green” hydrogen or biomethane.

In February 2021, the head of the group of international cooperation in the field of hydrogen and energy fuels of the German Energy Agency (dena), Kilian Krone, said that Ukraine needs to modernize the GTS to open opportunities for mixing hydrogen with other energy carriers for transportation.

Why is the Ukrainian gas transportation system currently not ready to transport hydrogen?

The problem is the metal from which the pipes are made. When pure hydrogen interacts with metal, the latter becomes brittle. Under such conditions, there is a risk of damage to the pipe’s integrity. Therefore, at the moment, the transportation of hydrogen by the Ukrainian HTS is not commercially feasible.

Only after the modernization of all branches of the gas transportation system will it be possible to raise the issue of hydrogen. And here we are talking not only about Europe but also about domestic consumption.

When Ukraine stepped on the “green” road?

On December 22, 2021, the country’s Hydrogen Strategy project was presented.

The formation of this strategy was prescribed in 3 stages.

The first stage or short-term goals (2022-2025) – laying the foundation of hydrogen energy and launching the green hydrogen export market;

The second stage or medium-term goals (2026-2030) – diversification of primary energy sources with the help of increasing hydrogen production volumes;

The third stage, or long-term goal (2031-2050) – is the rapid expansion of the market, in particular the export component.

Despite the full-scale invasion of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, we did not abandon the idea of transition to alternative energy sources. And this is not only a plus for us but also an incentive for Europe to support us.

Finally – electricity

Ukraine is ready to expand electricity exports to Germany. On March 11, 2022, our country became part of the European energy system ENTSO-e, and already in June 2022, it started exporting electricity. From October 11, 2022, to April 12, 2023, exports were suspended due to the Russian shelling of energy facilities on the territory of Ukraine.

On April 7 of this year, the Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Herman Galushchenko, signed an executive document allowing restoring electricity exports in conditions of surplus generating capacity.

On Monday, April 10, an auction was held for the allocation of 80 MW of capacity of the interstate crossing in the direction of Poland on April 12 and, for the first time, to Moldova on the day of delivery on April 11.

On April 17, Ukraine started exporting electricity to Slovakia.

According to the auction results, 51% (330 out of 650 MW) of all available capacity of networks in this direction was distributed among four participants.

Germany is the next. Neither Ukraine nor Germany has announced the planned amount of electricity, but we hope Germany will be the fourth country on Ukrenergo’s list. This is another chance for us to declare ourselves internationally, for Europe – to finally separate from the Russian Federation but provide for our own needs.