Podcast 12:23 08 May 2024

Ukraine's green recovery: perspectives and obstacles during war. Podcast

Rubryka’s latest podcast episode offers a nuanced look at the potential of a post-war reconstruction effort that prioritizes environmental well-being and drives economic growth. The talk delves into the principles, practical applications, and challenges of Ukraine’s “green recovery.”

With our fellow featured experts Roman Nitsovych (DiXi Group), Anna Ackermann (EcoDia), and Pavlo Kravets (FSC Ukraine), we discussed the main tools for sustainable reconstruction and established first steps towards the ecologically friendly approach to housing stock recovery. 

Basics of green reconstruction

A large piece of the episode was dedicated to the core concept of the term, which integrates environmental considerations alongside traditional economic development. This approach aims to create a more sustainable future for Ukraine by focusing on renewable energy, energy efficiency in buildings and infrastructure, responsible resource management, and the preservation of natural ecosystems.

Our speakers highlighted how a green recovery can address environmental concerns, enhance energy security, create new green jobs, and attract international investment.

What about the refurbishment?

To unveil the "green building refurbishment term," our speakers brought up a detailed strategy to improve the environmental performance of existing housing stock and retrofit existing buildings. Our speakers stated this plan has a bunch of pros, such as energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy integration, and a focus on sustainable materials. This won't only reduce the impact of reconstruction but also support local businesses and promote a circular economy.

Energy priorities

The conversation dives deeper into the specific energy considerations for green reconstruction.

  • Focus on renewables: Solar and wind energy are highlighted as key areas for investment, aiming to reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and enhance energy security. The podcast acknowledges the vast solar potential in Ukraine and the already existing wind farms that can be further expanded.
  • Energy storage solutions: The discussion emphasizes the importance of integrating energy storage solutions like batteries to manage the variability of renewable energy sources. This ensures a reliable and consistent supply of energy from renewable sources, addressing concerns about their intermittent nature.
  • Smart grid infrastructure: Developing a modernized grid capable of handling two-way power flow and integrating distributed renewable energy sources is seen as crucial. This modernized infrastructure will allow for a more efficient and flexible energy system, maximizing the benefits of renewable energy adoption.

Green recovery during wartime

Our guests acknowledged the challenges of Russia's war, which vastly slowed down the recovery process. Yet, they explored the ways green initiatives can help. 

Firstly, Ukraine should choose short-term solutions with long-term impacts, such as using solar panels on civil infrastructure to support the nationwide energy grid. 

Secondly, we should step up efforts with international collaboration by promoting green technologies and following European certification standards. 

What to consider during the green recovery?

While the benefits of a green recovery seem obvious, the Ukrainian government still has its challenges to face. The first and most problematic is financing the green transition. If Bucha's post-war recovery under no "green recovery" guidance cost over 10 million euros, then following the ecological principles would cost at least twice more, our speakers assured. 

Building capacity and training skilled workers in green technologies like solar panel installation, energy-efficient building construction, and renewable energy management will be crucial for implementation.

Establishing clear policies and regulations that incentivize green building practices and renewable energy adoption is essential. This could involve tax breaks for green construction materials and renewable energy systems, as well as feed-in tariffs that guarantee a fixed price for electricity generated from renewable sources.

To reach a green future in no time

The episode paints a compelling picture of a post-war reconstruction that prioritizes environmental sustainability and economic prosperity. By embracing a green recovery, Ukraine can rebuild its infrastructure, create new jobs, enhance public health, and emerge from the war as a global leader in environmental stewardship. 

The road to a greener future for Ukraine will undoubtedly require international cooperation, innovative financing mechanisms, and a commitment to social equity. However, the potential rewards – a sustainable, resilient, and thriving Ukraine – make the journey worthwhile.
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