What You Need To Know:
✔ Energy security is a huge factor in stability/instability of Eastern Europe, Ukraine;
✔ It’s definitely possible to fix the issue of dependency on Russian gas;
✔ Ukraine already produces half of its gas at home, can expand the production by 50% more over next decade;
✔ The full phasing out of Ukraine energy subsidies by mid 2017 is important incentive to use energy more efficiently.
By reducing its energy dependency, Ukraine can ease up its constant geopolitical instability, Carlos Pascual, a non-resident Fellow at the Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine thinks. He highlights Ukraine’s massive decrease in energy consumption in the last year as a positive step forward, but a lot of things still need to be achieved. ‘A gradual increase in prices that will have an impact on consumption, there are additional increases that will come in April next year and eventually the subsidies will phase out in April 2017. Those are important measures to increase incentives to use energy more efficiently. But specific measures on municipal and household levels haven’t been fully deployed yet and we need to see what the impact of them are,’ Pascual says.
Looking at the future, Pascual thinks that it is definitely possible to fix the dependency for Russian gas that the Kremlin often uses as a geopolitical and economical blackmailing tool. Not only Europe can reduce the reliance but Ukraine too: ‘Ukraine now consumes about 40 billion cubic meters of gas every year, about half of that is now produced in the country. It is very possible for Ukraine to increase that production up to 30 billion cubic meters over the next decade,’ Pascual explains.
Hromadske International’s Maxim Eristavi spoke to Carlos Pascual is a non-resident Fellow at the Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy and a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine during the YES international conference in Kyiv on September 12th, 2015.