More than 100 representatives of district heating companies, municipalities, oblasts and other stakeholders in the Ukrainian district heating sector attended the first DemoUkrainaDH Lessons Learned Seminar on 31th of May in the City Hall in Kamyanets-Podilskiy. Information about DemoUkrainaDH funded projects, completed and not completed, was shared and the challenges in Ukrainian district heating were discussed.
Representatives of the projects explained the positive results of the projects, not only in terms of improved operations or energy savings, but also with respect to the companies’ operations. However, also the problems with the present complicated institutional framework that the Ukrainian district heating companies have to cope and struggle with, had a prominent place in the discussions.
Learning from the experiences of the DemoUkrainaDH demonstration projects
The seminar was organized in cooperation with Interbranch Association Ukrteplokomunenergo and aimed for district heating companies and stakeholders in the western part of Ukraine. It is intended to organize a second DemoUkrainaDH Lessons Learned Seminar in autumn in the eastern part of Ukraine. The objectives of the seminars are to share experiences with respect to development and implementation of the DemoUkrainaDH demonstration projects in the Ukrainian district heating context.
During the morning session of the seminar in Kamyanets-Podilskiy the district heating companies of the hosting city, Vinnytsia, Zhytomyr, Ivano Frankivsk, Chernivtsi and Ternopil presented their experiences with developing a DemoUkrainaDH project. They addressed a variety of topics, like the impact of the project on operational results, customers’ reactions on the project and customer satisfaction, experiences with tendering and procurement, according to international procedures, the challenges they met during implementation. The most striking observations reported were increased customer satisfaction, especially with respect to improved supply of domestic hot water and the highly valued technical assistance support.
Challenges in the Ukrainian district heating sector
Make it simple and save money!
The second part of the seminar was dedicated to the challenges in the Ukrainian district heating sector. Nickolai Zhechkov of Dalsia Brunata, representing experiences of suppliers, pleaded for expulsion of outdated norms irrelevant for modern technologies, and working with simpler designs which are at present unnecessarily complicated in Ukraine. Several other measures, like replacement of black steel pipes by polypropylene piping, reduction of the number of valves, using standardized schemes and components could cut back costs for the district heating companies dramatically.
Join forces, and learn from each other!
Peter Dannbring, the project management consultant supporting the many DemoUkrainaDH projects, addressed also the challenges for the Ukrainian district heating companies. He emphasized the importance of optimization of installations, applying the right size of installations and components and illustrated how efficiency improves by avoiding oversizing, The district heating companies should also choose for quality instead of choosing for lowest price, typically implying bad quality. E.g. pipes should lay 50 years and should not already need repair after 5 years. He acknowledged that current Ukrainian norms impede modernization in district heating systems, but appealed also to district heating companies to join forces and to build their own knowledge base, to develop their own test cases, to allow themselves to make mistakes and to learn from these mistakes and to share information about test cases. Present European norms, he stated, are far less detailed but describe the essence related to safety and quality. Based on this, guidelines and specifications are developed in practice by the district heating business themselves, often in cooperation between manufacturers, suppliers and district heating companies.
Solutions, ideas and opportunities for the future
Anders Ottoson of district heating company Öresundskraft from Sweden took the lead in the final part of the seminar with a presentation about the work of the Swedish District Heating Association (since 2016 named Sweden Energy). He revealed how during more than 60 years the association became the leading district heating institute, in which 400 member companies in production, distribution and retail of district heating, cooling and electricity cooperate. Financed by its members’ fees it is involved in technical, political, legal, environmental and energy market issues and in communication. Working groups in which member specialists and suppliers cooperate develop technical guidelines with respect to for example heat & power CHP, distribution, substations and measurement, standardization work and certification. Research, systematic experience sharing and providing training are core activities of the association. In short, Sweden Energy provides advice and training, network activities, review and political influence, business data and research, trends and analysis for its members. In the discussion afterwards it was concluded that the way Swedish Energy works could inspire cooperation between Ukrainian district heating companies at several points, although the present institutional framework in which the Ukrainian association has to operate prevents operating in the same way, as Arsentey Blashuk, president of Interbranch Association Ukrteplokomunenergo stated.
Reducing consumption of fossil fuels in Ukraine
Roman Maretsky of the State Agency of Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving in Ukraine explained all the present regulations and credit schemes in place to stimulate, people, condominiums and companies to adopt energy saving measures and use of alternative energy sources.
Finally Ronny Nilsson of NEFCO outlined prospects of NEFCO to develop new credit schemes for funding ‘DemoUkrainaDH-like’ projects, but then on a bigger scale. However potential project ideas would have to meet several criteria which at present would be difficult to meet in Ukraine. Therefor development of a new suitable credit scheme will take time, but, as Ronny Nilsson concluded, NEFCO has the ambition to continue with providing opportunities to develop district heating in Ukraine.
Presentations made during the seminar are available in the folder DemoUkrainaDH Lessons Learned Seminar May 2017 on our website in the download section