The UK government’s Department for International Development is funding a two-year project to revive small hydro in Ukraine. The project is intended to become an important part of the Ukrainian energy system and an engine for local development.

Ukraine possesses adequate generating capacity to meet its power requirements but power exporting has led to internal energy shortages, which are damaging industrial and agricultural production. Official records indicate that 432 small hydro stations exist, totalling 600MW. Of this, only 60-90MW may still be operating.

Five Ukraine specialists will work with Enmar, a Ukrainian institution established over the past two years to develop small hydro projects throughout the country. A team of UK consultants will work alongside the Ukrainians to evaluate the commercial feasibility of rehabilitating existing small hydro project sites, and to establish legal and organisational requirements.

The UK consultants include:

•Ian Pope Associates.

•Halcrow Water.

•ESRA Consultants.

•The British Hydropower Association.

•Edinburgh University Energy Systems Group.

Another aim of the project is to evaluate the potential for a link between UK and Ukrainian turbine manufacturers to enable the local manufacture of equipment required to rehabilitate the small hydro projects. At present there is no indigenous turbine manufacturing in the Ukraine.