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Energy Minister warns of summer energy supply issues followed by 'difficult winter'

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 13, 2024 3:52 PM 2 min read
Cyclist on the street of Kharkiv, Ukraine, on April 21, 2024, amid a blackout due to the Russian attacks on energy infrastructure. (Serhii Korovayny/The Kyiv Independent)
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Ukraine may face "difficulties with electricity supply in the summer" and should "prepare for a difficult winter" due to Russia's attacks on energy infrastructure, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said in a statement on May 13.

Since the start of 2024, Russia has launched five large-scale attacks against Ukraine's energy infrastructure.

Russia carried out the last large-scale attack overnight on May 8, targeting critical infrastructure in central and western regions. An attack in April destroyed the Trypillia Thermal Power Plant, the main electricity supplier to Kyiv, Zhytomyr, and Cherkasy oblasts.

While Ukraine has so far avoided nationwide power cuts, blackout schedules have been introduced to cities including Kharkiv, and industrial and commercial energy users have faced restrictions.

The Energy Ministry said it "urges consumers to consume electricity sparingly in view of significant losses of generating capacity," as Ukraine's energy system has "suffered the most damage since the beginning of the full-scale war with Russia."

"To date, we have already lost about 8 gigawatts of capacity in the system. If this had happened in any other country, there would have been a total blackout," Halushchenko said.

Though the Energy Ministry is working on fixing the situation, the situation in the winter will be "difficult to predict," as the impact on future attacks is not yet known.

It is already obvious, however, that "the situation will be difficult," Halushchenko said.

There may be issues with electricity supply in the summer, but renewable energy sources, such as solar power, can help to balance the system, Halushchenko said.

Halushchenko said on May 5 that Russian strikes against Ukraine's energy infrastructure have cost the state over $1 billion in damage.

Ukraine receives emergency energy supply from Europe amid power shortages
Ukraine received an emergency electricity supply from Poland, Romania, and Slovakia amid an ongoing power shortage following Russia’s attacks on energy infrastructure, the Energy Ministry reported on May 11.
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