Ukraine will is urging its citizens to cut energy usage by 20 per cent this winter, amid growing concerns of rolling blackouts this winter.
The country’s energy minister Herman Halushchenko revealed Russia had launched more than 300 air strikes on Ukrainian energy facilities since October 10.
The Government is now pushing its citizens to cut energy usage, warning forced shutdowns could happen if demand is too high for the country’s energy network.
Speaking on Ukrainian television today, he said: “We see a drop in consumption. We see a voluntary decrease. But when it is not enough, we are forced to bring in forced shutdowns.”
This follows the Government urging citizens to “charge everything” by 7am this morning, with power cuts across the country expected following Russian attacks on its national grid.
Ukraine’s energy supplies are under immense strain following Russia’s invasion in February,.
Energy plants were hit by Russian missiles yesterday and outages of up to four hours at a time are expected, according to grid operator Ukrenergo.
Naftogaz, Ukraine’s state energy operator, told City A.M. earlier this month that the country has a 3bn cubic meter shortfall of gas supplies.
It has called on international allies to provide financial support so that it can secure energy supplies on global markets, and for the West to follow through on proposals to cap Russian oil and gas to slash war revenues and lower commodity prices.
Chief media adviser Svitlana Zalishchuk has praised the European Union’s (EU) series of sanctions packages including oil and coal sanctions, but also raised concerns over the lack of agreement within the bloc over more measures.
Zalishchuk said: “We see that they haven’t been realised because there’s no unity in the EU on that front. So, we believe that smart measures coming from our international partners are still needed to influence the revenues the Russians earn for the energy resources.”
EU settles on watered down plans to ease energy costs
The EU has spent over €100bn on Kremlin-backed oil, gas and coal supplies since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to research from Beyond Coal.
The bloc is currently at loggerheads over a potential gas price cap.
While 15 member states including France and Poland are pushing a cap, other countries such as Germany and Netherlands raising opposition to the measure, concerned it could lead to supply shortfalls ahead of a difficult winter.
The leaders of the 27 EU countries are set to meet for the second time in a fortnight to try to bring down energy prices.
However, they are expected to back the compromise measure of an alternative price benchmark for liquefied natural gas and joint gas buying.
This follows previous agreements to voluntarily cut consumption and introduce levies on windfall profits in the energy industry.
Meanwhile, Naftogaz is holding talks with with American drillers to pump gas from its vast untapped reserves to Europe, as first reported in The Telegraph.
It has identified huge gas reserves waiting for extraction, including in the Dnipro-Donets Basin.