I recently completed the MA in International Business at the Lord Ashcroft International Business School at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge. My dissertation focused on the development of wind energy in my country - Ukraine.
Ukraine is one of the largest European countries with a population of over 45 million people. My research focused particularly on the Crimean region, as Crimea is one of the most attractive regions of Ukraine in terms of investment. Crimea is
an autonomous republic under the jurisdiction of Ukraine and is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea occupying a peninsula of the same name. The peninsula does not only have a favorable economic and geographical location, but has huge potential to develop the industrial infrastructure, and has easy access to the markets of Ukraine, CIS, Europe and Asia.
The priority area of development requiring urgent and significant investments is the energy sector. Crimea has a population of more than 3.5 million people but produces less than 20% of its own electricity; the remaining electricity comes from the mainland.
The overwhelming majority of scientists today agree that our globe is undergoing major climate change. It has also been apparent in recent years that the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising significantly. Do we sit and wait, or exploit every opportunity from every source, including wind, solar and other new technologies in a potentially favorable region like Crimea?
As part of the research I interviewed Igor Zosimov, the Minister of Energy for the Crimean region. He stated that it is possible to make sure that Crimea has sufficient supply of electricity by using traditional forms of energy, but there are many obstacles to the use of fossil fuels considering the environmental disadvantages that it brings. The unique nature of the Crimea, an area that attracts year round holidaymakers, would be destroyed by burning oil, natural gas or coal. Wind power generation technology is clean and emission- free, and like all renewable energy sources, it develops the energy from natural forces and does not have any polluting consequences that are normally associated with fossil fuels.
The country though is at the very beginning of exploring wind energy, and energy efficiency needs to be put at the top of political agenda. This change will take time. The country needs to adapt legislation that stimulates energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources. Perhaps tariffs will have to be increased and energy companies will have to be penalised through taxation or other measures for the use of fossil fuel. Those measures certainly cannot be adopted quickly.
However, this move towards opening the market for investment and new technologies along with energy policy reforms, I believe, could finally move Ukraine into the system of European energy interconnections that will not only stop the Crimean peninsula being reliable on the energy coming from the mainland but could possibly reform the whole country’s reliance on a single energy supplier. The transition to wind energy can also help significantly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
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