Ukraine's new normal: Electricity two hours a day

Black winter awaits Ukraine as energy system destroyed almost entirely

A black winter awaits Ukraine. Cities will turn into "dark spots" unsuitable for life.

Ukrainians need to get accustomed to living in dark and cold, The Financial Times wrote. The Russian forces have destroyed Ukraine's energy system. It is believed that Ukrainian customers will be able to have electricity in their homes only for a couple of hours during the day by January.

"This is our new normal," a Kiev official told the newspaper, commenting on emergency blackouts in the capital.

Ukrainian experts note that the destruction of generating capacities, as well as the Tripilska TPP and Dnipro HPP that were used to stabilise energy consumption during peak hours, means that Ukraine is going to experience serious shortages of electricity in the very near future even if Ukraine imports energy from EU and does not suffer from ongoing Russian attacks.

Chairman of the Union of Consumers of Utility Services Oleg Popenko said that "electricity will have to be switched off for ten hours already in July". According to him, Ukraine has lost 9.8 gigawatts of its generation capacity. Popenko advises residents of apartment buildings to move to the private sector with autonomous power generators before winter. Residents of apartment buildings will inevitably have to deal with interruptions in heating and water supplies. Sewage pumps and elevators will not be able to work properly as it will be impossible to maintain electricity levels.

The damage is critical, and the destroyed facilities cannot be repaired in the foreseeable future, Popenko said on a telethon.

Transmission system operator Ukrenergo began to limit power supplies to industrial and business enterprises from 8 May. Emergency blackouts were introduced on June 2. On 3 June, Ukrenergo warned that blackouts would become more frequent. At the same time, electricity tariffs have increased by 63 per cent since June under the pretext of the need to liquidate the consequences of artillery attacks. In total, tariffs have quadrupled during Volodymyr Zelensky's presidency.

According to the World Bank, 9 million Ukrainians live in poverty. They cannot afford to pay new bills. It would seem that moving to the private houses could be a way out, but the Rada voted in the first reading to increase excise taxes on fuel. This will affect all those who may want to switch to power generators.

Ukrenergo corruption

Russian air strikes on Ukraine's energy infrastructure have a delayed effect, but when blackouts outweigh attempts to "patch up the holes," everything will start to collapse, including on the front.

Ukrenergo executives significantly raised their own salaries in April. They increased them four times, up to 2.1 million hryvnias for five board members, excluding the salary of board chairman Volodymyr Kudrytskyy.

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Author`s name Lyuba Lulko
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Editor Dmitry Sudakov
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