Learning about best practice in renewable energy for district heating in Ukraine

13 March 2019

Learning about best practice in renewable energy for district heating in Ukraine

The third training for representatives of Ukrainian district heating systems in the framework of KeepWarm, organised by project partner KT-Energy, took place on 12-14 March 2019 in Kamianets-Podilskyi city. It included lectures on renewable energy use in district heating systems as well as site visits to the facilities of the municipal company Miskteplovodenergiya.

Miskteplovodenergiya provides heating, water and hot water supply services for residents and public buildings of Kamianets-Podilskyi city and takes care of wastewater collection and treatment services. Since 2014 the company has actively worked on the substitution of natural gas with local renewable energy. There are seven boiler houses in the city working on straw pellets, sunflower seed husk pellets, wood chips and other solid biomass fuels, as well as a modern power plant running on wood chips.

During the first day of the training, the participants learnt about the operation of three biomass-fired boiler houses and the company’s control systems. On the second day, the director general of Miskteplovodenergiya, Mr. Valeriy Gordiychuk, presented the operation of the modern biomass-fired power plant, which started working in 2018. The implementation of the project started in 2015 within the “District Heating Energy Efficiency” project financed by the World Bank.

Our plans on the use of renewable energy sources for heat energy generation do not stop here,” commented Mr. Gordiychuk. “The company also works on the project of switching three cogeneration units on the site of the biomass-fired power plant from natural gas to biogas. The biogas will be produced from chicken manure supplied from a nearby factory. Besides, we plan to install solar collectors on the roof of one of our boiler houses”.

Miskteplovodenergiya is a leader among Ukrainian district heating companies in natural gas substitution with biomass. As of 2018, seven boiler houses using biomass substituted 20% of the natural gas consumption. With the commissioning of the new power plant, about one-third of all heat energy will be generated from biomass.

During the last five years, the municipal company has gained experience in using different types of biomass, including wood chips, straw pellets, sunflower seed husk pellets, wood pellets as well as corn processing residues.

The use of local renewable fuels allows not only reducing natural gas consumption, but also job creation for residents. Each biomass boiler house creates posts for operators and people involved in the biomass supply chain”, noted Mr. Vasyl Tarasiuk, chief engineer of Miskteplovodenergiya.

The stability of biomass prices remains a problematic question for the development of biomass-based heating. “Biomass prices tend to uncontrolled growth during a year, which undermines the economic feasibility of heat energy generation using biomass and made it less competitive than natural gas. The launch of the biomass market and competitive biomass prices during a heating season are important for the stable operation of biomass-fired boiler houses and the further increase of renewable heat generation share”, commented deputy director general on heat generation Mr. Sergiy Mykulin.

Training participants noted the useful experience of learning about the practical aspects of biomass use in heating, as some companies plan to expand biomass use for heat energy generation in the near future.

To read about the first training of district heating operators in Ukraine, please click here.