Ukraine’s domestic production of natural gas and coal doesn’t cover the entire demand, so that country is in large part dependent on imports of these materials. Meanwhile, straw is mostly considered waste from wheat and barley production in Ukraine. Farmers often just plow the straw and stubble down or burn them in the fields after harvesting.
Now, utilizing biomass as a fuel nationwide may contribute to the energy independence of the country.
- Read also: The stubborn Ukrainian tradition behind forest fires in Chornobyl (2020)
In his interview with Interfax Ukraine, Naftogaz Teplo’s head Vitaly Mykhailio stated that his company plans to convert the company-owned gas-fired power plants for burning biological materials. He says, the company is going to produce heat with the maximum share of renewable energy sources.
“We are now in the process of formulating a partnership model: there are, for example, small local businesses which will know that companies need a certain amount of bio raw materials each year to generate heat and electricity. Be it wood chips or straw. It can still be a waste pre-treated in a special way,” the head of Naftogaz Teplo said.
According to Mr. Mykhailio, the business model that the company is set to implement could become mutually beneficial for both the company and local entrepreneurs. The latter can invest and build their sustainable business on the supply of straw and other bio raw materials to Naftogaz Teplo, the subsidiary of the largest gas production and gas supply company in Ukraine, Naftogaz.
Vitaly Mikhailio states that the thermal-electric power plants managed by his company would start switching to renewable energy sources at the end of April this year.
“We won’t invent anything new here. We are now learning from Europe’s best practices. Especially Denmark’s, which is a leader in using renewable energy sources: about 70% of its heat comes from renewables and biomass,” said Mykhailio.
- Read also: Ukraine is one of the potential destination countries for green hydrogen — UK Ambassador to Ukraine
Texty.org.ua highlights that three kilograms of straw are equivalent in its calorific value to a cubic meter of natural gas.
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