Ukraine's electrical power consumption in 2022 averaged at around 294 watts per person, significantly below the global comparison of 412 watts. Out of the total, over 70% or 219 watts/person came from low-carbon sources, with nuclear forming the most significant chunk at 170 watts/person. Fossil fuels made up the remainder, dominated by a 61.4 watt consumption from coal. Hydropower, solar, and wind accounted for a combined 46.5 watts/person, while the contribution from biofuels was minimal. These numbers suggest that while the nation has made good strides towards adopting clean energy, its overall electricity generation is quite low. This could potentially hamper economic growth and infrastructural development, and the lack of redundancy in sources could make the country susceptible to energy crises. Ukraine neither imports nor exports electricity, making it entirely self-reliant in this regard.
To increase its low-carbon energy generation, it would be prudent for Ukraine to consider expanding its existing nuclear power capabilities. Countries such as Sweden, France, Finland, and Belgium have achieved impressive outputs over 400 watts/person through their nuclear endeavors. The notable success of wind power in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, which consistently produce over 300 watts/person, provides an additional or alternative pathway to increase low-carbon power. Although Ukraine already benefits from nuclear and, to a lesser degree, various types of non-fossil fuels, emulating these successful strategies could greatly enhance its energy landscape.
Looking historically at Ukraine's electricity generation, a clear trend in the rise and fall of nuclear power is evident. The late 1980s saw significant progress with an initial setback in 1986, but a considerable rebound by 21.6 TWh in 1988. The 1990s were relatively unstable with several fluctuations, but closed with a boost of 5.9 TWh of hydro power in 1998. The first decade of the 21st century marked an overall increase in nuclear power, despite a drop in 2009. The following years were a roller-coaster ride, with nuclear power undergoing several sharp rises and falls, culminating in a steep drop of 21.3 TWh in 2022. These fluctuations, particularly the recent significant downturn in nuclear generation, call for critical evaluation and intervention to stabilize the country's low-carbon electricity generation.