Ukraine: building back better and greener

(EurActiv, 24 Feb 2023) With the largest untapped potential for solar and wind energy in Europe, Ukraine is perfectly positioned to replace a previous dependence on Russian oil and gas imports with renewable electricity sources, writes Iryna Stavchuk

Iryna Stavchuk is Ukraine Program Manager at the European Climate Foundation since 2022. She is a former Ukraine Deputy Minister in charge of climate change policies, European integration, international relations and biodiversity.  

As we reach the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an event that brought large-scale conflict to European soil and continues to devastate lives, it is important to understand the radical changes this has made to the global energy market and what’s required to rebuild the war-torn country and develop a secure, green energy system, the benefits of which could be felt far beyond its borders.

Following the illegal invasion, panic ensued as Russia cut most gas exports to European countries, triggering an energy crisis punctuated by scarce supplies, record-setting energy prices, and living situations.

Yet fears of an increase in reliance on fossil fuels did not materialise; uncertainty gave way to practical action.

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EurActiv, 24 Feb 2023: Ukraine: building back better and greener