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EBRD unveils energy efficiency action plan for Ukraine

By Anton Usov

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n a major step towards promoting an energy efficient economy, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the government of Ukraine have agreed on a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).

Vice Prime Minister Hryhoriy Nemyria from the Ukrainian government and André Küüsvek from the EBRD signed a memorandum of understanding on the action plan in Kiev on 10 June 2009.

The SEAP builds on the continuous policy dialogue between the Bank and Ukraine as part of the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) that was launched in 2006 for all of the countries where the EBRD invests.
Ukraine, one of the least energy efficient countries in the region, has since attracted EBRD funding of €647 million for a variety of energy efficiency projects across the country.

The objective of the Sustainable Energy Action Plan is to outline actions to promote the rational use of energy resources as well as the efficient and sustainable supply of power and energy. They should help strengthen the country’s energy security, improve industrial competitiveness and reduce energy bills for Ukrainian people.

In the context of the SEAP the government of Ukraine and the Bank have identified several areas for joint activities in the field of sustainable energy. These will include a review of tariff methodology and legislation, the introduction of legal frameworks for renewable energy development as well as for energy efficiency in residential and public buildings.

The Bank will consider investing in energy efficiency projects in such priority areas as industrial energy efficiency, credit lines to SME energy users, clean power and energy supply, renewable energy, municipal infrastructure and carbon finance.

The EBRD’s sustainable energy initiative has become an important part of the Bank’s Country Strategy for Ukraine and has facilitated closer policy dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities.

Last year the Bank paid special attention to energy efficiency in Ukraine by improving the access of private companies to much-needed energy efficiency lending just at a time when credit was becoming increasingly scarce.

In 2008 investments in sustainable energy -- primarily energy efficiency projects – totalled €350 million, or around 40 per cent of the EBRD’s annual business volume in Ukraine.

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