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Bioenergy potential in Ukraine

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) states in its Global Renewable Energy Roadmap (REMAP 2030) about Ukraine:

Ukraine is dependent on natural gas imports, and its energy intensity is higher than in most other economically developed countries. The country could be an interesting illustration of how objectives for both energy efficiency and renewables can be met, as potentials for both are large. For renewables in particular, biomass, solar thermal and wind offer potentials for both end-use and power and district heat sectors.

Bioenergy potentials

Despite the low current level of renewable energy development and energy strategy disadvantages, Ukraine has good preconditions for the future development of renewable energy sources and, in particular, bioenergy. The country possesses a large potential of biomass available for energy production. The main components of this potential are waste from agriculture and public utilities, waste wood, and in prospect also energy crops, growing of which has been actively developing lately.

According to the SEC Biomass data of 2011, an economically expedient energy potential of the existing biomass waste was 24.5 million tons of coal equivalent (718 PJ), and the energy potential of biomass that can be planted on currently unused agricultural land of more than 4 million hectares is about 13.7 million tons of coal equivalent (402 PJ, table below). At the expense of biomass waste and energy crops potential it is possible to cover up to 38.2 million tons of coal equivalent which makes up 18% of the total primary energy consumption in Ukraine.

Biomass energy potential of Ukraine for 2011

Biomass type Total generation, [mio t] % of the total amount Economic potential [mio tce]
Total - - 38.24
Straw of cereal crops 32 20 3.17
Straw of rapeseed 2.9 70 0.96
Residues from the production of corn for grain 34 52 8.59
Residues from the production of sunflower 17 67 5.55
Secondary agricultural residues (husks, bagasse) 9.7 77* 0.99
Wood biomass 3.9 89* 1.87
Biodiesel - - 0.35
Bioethanol - - 2.36
Biogas from manure - - 0.35
Landfill gas - - 0.26
Sewage gas - - 0.09
Energy crops:
- poplar, Miscanthus, willow and other crops 20 85 10.3
- rapeseed (straw) 3.2 70 1.13
- rapeseed (biodiesel) - - 0.77
- corn (biogas) - - 1.1
Peat - - 0.4

Based on:
G.Geletukha, T.Zhelezna, M.Zhovmir, Y.Matveev, O.Drozdova. Assessment of the energy potential of biomass in Ukraine. Part 2. Energy crops, liquid biofuels, biogas / / Industrial Heat Engineering– 2011, т. 33, № 1, с.57-64. (ru) and
G.Geletukha, T.Zhelezna, M.Zhovmir, Y.Matveev, O.Drozdova. Assessment of the energy potential of biomass in Ukraine. Part 1. Agricultural waste and woody biomass / / Industrial Heat Engineering–– 2010, т. 32, № 6, с.58-65. (ru)

* on average

Variation of of bioenergy potential in Ukraine

The value of biomass energy potential varies by years and depends mainly on the land use structure and major crops yields (wheat, maize, sunflower, etc.). Over the last 10 years, the economic potential ranged from 25 to 38 Mtce/yr (figure below).

Consumption of biomass for energy production in Ukraine (2010)

According to the energy balance of Ukraine of 20101, only about 1.3 Mtce/yr of biomass are used for energy production that makes up 0.7% of the total primary energy supply in Ukraine. It is mainly sunflower husks, wood waste and firewood for population. A SEC "Biomass" estimatation of biomass volume, which is used for energy production in Ukraine, is presented in the following table.

Biomass type Consumption* [natural units] Consumption* [ktce] % of the total
Total 1291 100
Straw 50 th.t 24 1.9
Wood waste 957 th.t 261 20.2
Firewood (population) 1972 th. solid m3 377 29.2
Sunflower husks 884 th.t 452 35
Peat 339 th.t 156 12.1
Biogas (manure) 4516 th.m3 3 0.2
Landfill gas 26192 th.m3 18 1.4

* Estimation of SEC "Biomass": 1.29 Mtce make up about 0.7% of the total energy consumption in Ukraine. For comparison: according to the State Statistics Service of Ukraine, biofuels and waste (1.31 Mtce) make up 0,7% of the total energy supply in Ukraine in 2010.

1State Statistics Service of Ukraine http://www.ukrstat.gov.ua/