On September 14th, 2023, the public dialogue „Prospects for the development of green energy communities in Ukraine" was held in Vinnytsia. The event was organized by the Sustainable Development Agency "Synergy" in cooperation with wechange eG as part of the project "Citizen Energy for Resilient Ukraine" funded by the German Foreign Office.
The dialogue brought together 40 participants from Ukraine and abroad who discussed green energy solutions, shared their expertise and networked together. The programme included a case study challenge which was concluded during the event. The dialogue began with experts and state representatives sharing their perspectives on the chances and obstacles of the cooperation of civil society and the state in the development of green energy in Ukraine. Evgeniia Chobotova, a representative of the economic department of the German Embassy in Kyiv, and Marcelina Golebiewska, an independent expert on green energy from Poland, provided an international perspective, while Yanna Chaikovska from the Institute of Urban Development of the Vinnytsia city council gave her insight on the local level. Additionally, the preliminary results of the focus group study „Financial, technical and legislative aspects in the creation of energy communities in Ukraine“ conducted by Socioinform were presented by Nataliia Zaitseva-Chupak. The importance of continuous learning between local and European actors, the cooperation between green activists, state and civil society and the energy economy were stressed. The establishment of alternative organisational structures like energy communities might be a key factor in Ukraine's future development.
A panel discussion continued this dialogue. The panellists were Serhii Kravchuk (Director of KNESS Energy), Kostyantyn Krynytskyi (Head of the Energy Department of the NGO "Ecodiya", Kyiv), Stella Schoenwiesner (Renewable energy entrepreneur and co-founder of the Repowering Ukraine initiative, Germany), Mykhailo Hanchuk (General Director of Promavtomatika-Vinnytsia LLC, Vinnytsia) and Oleh Levchenko (Development Director of the NGO "Podil Regional Development Agency").
Together with the audience the panellists discussed the current state of green energy in Ukraine and the benefits of green energy projects and energy communities for local communities and businesses alike. The debate also raised the topics of how to promote green technologies in Ukraine and what incentives and legislative frames state and municipalities can provide for a more efficient green energy transition. As cases of successful energy projects the Severynivka community by Mr Levchenko and the German initiative „Repowering Ukraine“ by Mrs Schoenwiesner were presented.
The public dialogue concluded with the Super Finale of the Case Study Challenge "Re-Energize Ukraine". The championship started in June 2023 and invited green energy activists from Ukraine to work on one of three energy cases, designed with the Ukrainian municipalities. The six best groups were invited to the Super Final to present their solutions to a selected jury of experts, who chose the winning teams. The three best teams were awarded with a mentoring programme to further develop and implement their project idea. Congratulations to the three winners and especially the first-placed group EcoGreenTime. We thank every group for their work and effort.
1. Place: EcoGreenTime
2. Place: Чиста енергія
3. Place: Greenwich
4. Place: ННІ Вейнштейна ОНТУ
5. Place: Світлячки
6. Place: Only Green Energy
The project will continue to work with the winner teams and support their community solar endeavours.