EBRD, Ukraine TSO formalise hydrogen agreement
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and state Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU) are joining forces to promote the development and use of hydrogen in Ukraine, they said July 23. The news came the day that GTSOU sister company Naftogaz signed up to the UN Global Compact.
EBRD and GTSOU signed a memorandum of understanding in April 2020 to improve the environment for sustainable energy investments in Ukraine and reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions, in particular fugitive methane emissions, and air pollution. Today's announcement formalises that agreement, without identifying any projects.
In certain countries, recent renewable energy electricity prices have fallen below $30/MWh – a level at which production of green hydrogen starts to become competitive with conventional fossil fuels, they said.
EBRD said Ukraine "relies heavily on fossil fuels across all sectors of its economy and hydrogen can represent a good alternative for decarbonisation, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Supporting the green transition of our economies is a key priority for the EBRD."
GTSOU said the challenge is to "develop technology to scale up hydrogen use, to create the necessary conditions and infrastructure for its production, transportation and consumption.... As the operator of the gas transmission system, our task is now to prepare our infrastructure for the decarbonised energy markets of the future."
So far the EBRD has invested nearly €15bn ($18bn) in close to 500 projects in Ukraine. Work is focused on assisting the country's stabilisation and anchoring its reforms by increasing energy efficiency and energy security, unlocking agricultural and industrial potential, providing quality infrastructure and strengthening the financial sector.
EBRD's continued efforts to help Ukraine come despite its concerns about the former Soviet republic's record of corporate governance, following the summary dismissal of Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev at the end of April.
In a letter co-signed by the European Investment Bank, the European Commission and others, the EBRD called on the leadership of Ukraine to "ensure that critical management decisions in state-owned enterprises are taken in full compliance with the basic principles of recognised corporate governance standards."