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18 Jan. 2024

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What is the state of Ukraine's energy system and is there a threat of blackout this winter?

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What is the state of Ukraine's energy system and is there a threat of blackout this winter?

The russian army can attack the Ukrainian energy system at any time, repeating last year's situation. However, Ukrainian specialists have well prepared the networks for emergency situations. Find out if there is a threat to Ukraine's energy supply and what officials say

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Last year, the russian army caused severe damage to Ukraine's energy system, attacking infrastructure almost daily. However, specialists managed to stabilise the situation over the year and prepare the power grids for the winter period. Despite the good readiness of the energy system, there are still threats of blackouts, as the russian federation can start attacking facilities at any time.


The fact that Ukraine has managed to prepare for winter is confirmed by the beginning of January, when the country experienced the lowest possible temperatures. In the first weeks of 2024, Ukraine's critical infrastructure facilities survived without any major problems, but this was helped by the fact that the occupants did not launch massive attacks on these facilities.


As Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmygal stated, the latest russian shelling did not cause serious damage to the Ukrainian energy system, especially since Ukraine has a reserve of strength.


There have already been non-global blackouts


Weather also plays an important role in the normal functioning of the Ukrainian energy system. For example, after New Year holidays serious frosts came to the country. At night, the temperature dropped to minus 27 degrees centigrade.


As a result of such weather conditions, there were failures in the networks, due to which some settlements in Kirovograd, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, Mykolayiv and other regions of Ukraine were without power supply.


However, most of the emergencies were eliminated by specialists in less than a day, which significantly affected the stable supply of electricity.


Besides, as RBC-Ukraine writes with reference to Energy Minister German Galushchenko, Ukraine managed to survive the cold peaks in early January even without emergency aid from Europe.




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Does the threat remain?


According to Vitaliy Zaichenko, Ukrenergo's chief dispatcher, in an interview with “Economic Pravda”, it is absolutely impossible to guarantee that there will be no blackout, as the russians are stockpiling missiles and can use them on the energy system.


At the same time, he notes that if we put the risk of shelling out of brackets, there are no risks of a large-scale accident.


In addition, Zaichenko emphasised that electricity consumption is currently growing in Ukraine, both on the part of industry and the population.


"Yesterday (10 January - ed.) we had another record consumption since the beginning of the war. We managed to cover this record level due to three factors. The first is that a sufficient part of generation was restored. Everything that could be switched on, we switched on. Secondly, because of the warm December, there is a large flow of water along the Dnipro and Desna. Yesterday was the maximum for the entire history of winter power generation at hydroelectric power plants," - said the chief dispatcher of "Ukrenergo".


The head of "Ukrenergo" Volodymyr Kudrytskyy is also of the opinion that the threat to the energy system remains.


"We are probably waiting for several cold periods during January, February, possibly March. And these are exactly the periods in which potentially the enemy can attack Ukraine and, in particular, the energy sector. Then there may be more discomfort," - said Kudrytsky.


We remind you! The Government decided to cancel the moratorium on disconnection of electricity supply to Ukrainians for non-payment of utilities. How fines will be charged for non-payment of utilities and what to do Ukrainians who are abroad, read here.

Photo: Depositphotos


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