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Ukraine warns of more power outages

Vladimir Zelensky earlier said that nearly 80% of the nation’s energy capacity was cut due to the conflict with Russia

Power generation in Ukraine will worsen as soon as next week, Vladimir Kudritsky, the head of Ukrenergo, the national power grid operator, has warned. In an interview with Ukrainskaya Pravda on Friday, he said it would not be possible to restore all of the damaged energy capacity by winter.

According to the top official, Ukraine will not be able to avoid power outages due to high seasonal energy demand and scheduled maintenance works at several nuclear power plants.

Kudritsky said Ukrenergo expects capacities at nuclear power plants to be reduced starting Saturday, with additional steps towards decreasing energy generation to be made in the last third of the current month. He added that the current maintenance works involve refueling and thus cannot be rescheduled or canceled.

He noted that power generation capacity will not be completely restored by winter, but expressed hope that some operations will be resumed.

“The winter will be very difficult; if we have shortages now, consumption is usually 35% less than in winter, then it is obvious that winter will bring even more problems related to covering energy deficit,” he stated.

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Earlier this week, Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky said that up to 80% of the country’s energy capacity, including coal-fired power plants and hydroelectric power, have been damaged or destroyed amid the conflict with Russia. Zelensky also asked Western supporters for more air defense systems to protect the nation’s power infrastructure.

Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has been targeted by Russian forces since October 2022, following the bombing of the Crimean Bridge, which Kiev later claimed responsibility for. Russia’s latest strikes came in response to Kiev’s attacks on oil depots and refineries inside Russia. The Kremlin has stressed that the strikes are not aimed at civilians.

Kiev has been trying to conserve energy and repair its damaged infrastructure. The authorities have introduced power cuts and hiked consumer electricity tariffs by 60% to provide financial support for repair works. Earlier this month, Prime Minister Denis Shmigal said the government was planning to suspend import duties and VAT on equipment and components used for generating and storing electricity. The government is also considering loans to citizens to install power generation units at their homes, and is planning to boost imports of electricity from the EU.

June 15, 2024 at 04:44PM
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