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General information about Ukraine

The territory of Ukraine is 603,549 km2. A distinctive feature of the country is the dominance of agricultural land – 70.9% of the territory. About 17.6% is covered by forests, 4.0% – by water, 4.2%  by  settlements1. As for February 1, 2012 the population of Ukraine was 45.6 million people2 with an average population density 75,6 inhabitants per 1 km2.

Administrative‐territorial structure consists of 24  regions and Autonomous Republic of Crimea and two cities of central subordination – Kiev and Sevastopol.

Agricultural zones in Ukraine

The climate in the country is temperate continental with some differences in the Carpathians and the Crimean Mountains being subtropical on the southern coast of Crimea. The average monthly temperature  in January is from minus 8°C in the north‐east of Ukraine and the Carpathian highlands to +4°C in the southern coast of Crimea, in July from +17°C in the north‐west and +9°C in the highlands of the Carpathians to +23°C in the south. Precipitation is unevenly distributed, its annual amount decreases in the west and north‐west to the south and south‐east from 650‐600 to 300 mm. Maximum precipitation occurs in the Crimean mountains (1000‐1200mm) and the Ukrainian Carpathians (1500mm). To the south in the steppe zone the lack of moisture in certain years invokes the droughts.

There are three agricultural zones in Ukraine: forest (Polissya, 6 regions/oblast), forest‐steppe (10  oblasts), steppe (9 oblasts), and mountain Carpathian and Crimean regions.

Forest zone

Polissya occupies 19 % of the agricultural land of the country, the leading sector of agriculture is the meat and dairy cattle (more than 25% meat and 20% of milk production in Ukraine). It provides more than 15% of sugar beet, more than 6% of grain, 7% of the vegetables.

Steppe zone

The steppe zone covers more than 40% of the territory of Ukraine. Animal husbandry (dairy and meat  cattle in the north, meat and dairy cattle in the  south), swine, sheep and poultry breeding provide about 60% of commercial output produced in Ukraine. Large areas are taken for growing of winter wheat, maize, spring and winter barley, sunflower, millet, peas and rice. Steppe zone produces about 55 % of Ukraine's grain.

Forest-steppe zone

In the forest‐steppe zone three quarters of sugar beets cultivation lands are concentrated, the production of sunflowers, potatoes, vegetables, wheat, maize grain is developed as well.

Energy Complex Structure

Ukraine is a country with a deficit of its own fossil fuels. The demand for natural gas in the country is met through its own reserves for only 35%, whereas 65% of the required amount is imported, mainly from Russia. The share of own resources to meet the oil demand is 10-12%.

The generalized data of 2010 on primary energy consumption in Ukraine, European Union (EU), United States and the worldwide are presented in the table below. Analysis of these data demonstrated that the share of natural gas consumption in Ukraine is unreasonably high - about 43%, which is almost twice higher than, for example, in the EU. Meanwhile the contribution of renewable energy sources (RES) in Ukraine is unreasonably small - about 2.0% which is 5 times lower than in the EU. Mentioned 2.0% from renewable energy sources is mainly provided by biomass (1.24%) and large hydropower plants (0.76%).

Structure of primary energy sources consumption (%)3

Energy source20102030
WorldwideUkraine*EUUSAUkraine**EU
Natural Gas20,942,425,125,22824
Oil32,910,035,136,114,533
Coal27,127,815,923,030,07
Uranium5,817,813,59,822,511
RES13,12,09,85,65,725

*According to the energy balance of Ukraine for 2010, compiled by the State Statistics Committee of Ukraine.

**In contrast to the world practice, the energy balance of Ukraine in 2030 besides the five listed energy carriers includes also rather big share of "other" sources of unknown origin (25.8 Mtce in the basic scenario, or 10.8% of the total energy consumption). The energy balance also includes “heat energy of the environment” (8 Mtce) but its calculation is non-transparent. Therefore, the shares of individual energy sources have been calculated as the ratio of their contribution to the total energy consumption (238.1 Mtce in the basic scenario) after deduction of 25.8 Mtce of "other" energy sources and 8 Mtce of “heat energy of the environment”, so that their sum is 100%. The share of large hydro is included in the renewables.