Faced with shortages of petrol and diesel since the start of the war in February 2022, and with the rising impacts of the ongoing energy crisis, Ukraine aims at strengthening energy security through the development of renewable energy, notably biofuels and biomass.
Key challenges and recommendations towards the development of a national strategy on the production and use of bioenergy resources, in particular biomethane, bioethanol, and biodiesel were discussed at a multi-stakeholder dialogue in Kyiv and on-line on 31 March 2023.
The event gathered over 80 officials and experts representing the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food; Ministry of Energy; Ministry for Communities, Territories and Infrastructure Development; State Agency of Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving of Ukraine; Bioenergy Association of Ukraine; Ukrainian Association of District and Regional Councils; Public Union Global RE 100 % Ukraine; National Association of District and Regional Councils; Institute of Bioenergy Crops and Sugar Beet; as well as representatives of international organizations, private companies, and other international and national stakeholders.
Participants looked at the opportunities for bioenergy market development in the country, including the energy, environment and food security nexus; the feasibility of biofuels production; environmental sustainability of biofuels and their role in the energy transition for a green economy; existing policies and benefits from the increase of bioenergy uptake.
Stakeholders discussed Ukraine’s vast potential to grow energy crops - estimated at up to 8 bn cubic metres of biomethane per year by the Ministry of Energy - and the required support for their production and use. They also touched upon the implementation of bioenergy projects in municipal heating and reducing the dependence of the transport sector and agribusiness on imported fossil fuels.
UNECE presented draft Policy Recommendations, which will be fined tuned finalized based on the conclusions from the discussions.
The multi-stakeholder dialogue was the last activity under the project “Addressing the compounded food and energy crisis in Ukraine through innovative technologies and adaptive agricultural practices” implemented by UNECE - jointly with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO, lead agency) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) under the overall coordination of the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Ukraine, as part of the Joint SDG Fund Development Emergency Modality – Response to the Global Crisis on Food, Energy, Finance. As part this project, implemented from July 2022 to March 2023 at the request of the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food, FAO, UNECE and UNEP conducted a three-tiered assessment of Ukraine’s biofuel and biomass potential.