Fight for electricity: How does Ukraine operate energy infrastructure during the war?

UkrEnergo is a governmental operator of energy and its infrastructure in Ukraine. Russian invasion significantly damaged operational infrastructure and core energy stations interrupting adequate energy transmission to citizens and military objects. Despite all the challenges russia poses to UkrEnergo, they not only maintain energy operations but improve the country’s current state of energy infrastructure. I believe this company demonstrates to Europe valuable lessons on how the desire to enhance overcomes any obstacle.

According to UkrEnergo’s social media accounts, they continuously face troubles in systems operation due to russian attacks. Obviously, numerous infrastructure objects were destroyed, which UkrEnergo in accomplice with the government solved within a month. One of the most emerging concerns for UkrEnergo nowadays is the occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant (ZNPP). It is the biggest nuclear power plant in Europe, and russian regularly shell it, putting the world at the risk of a new Chornobyl catastrophe. Since it is a susceptible situation, UkrEnergo is highly accurate in its decisions. It primarily focuses on diplomatic choices, such as the involvement of the IAEA. 

Another issue UkrEnergo faces regularly is cyber-attacks on its IT departments. The company was attacked 146 million times, 87% and 26% from Russia, and temporarily occupied the territories of Luhansk and Donetsk, respectively. Even though they did not significantly harm UkrEnergo’s performance, they did sabotaged and interfered with the companies’ focus on infrastructure maintenance and international cooperation. Such an ability to diversify resolving sources is indeed an example for most countries. If the government sincerely strives to accomplish a target, it will work despite the circumstances.        

In addition, UkrEnergo regularly #EnergyFront posts to keep people updated about the company’s performance during the war. In most cases, they report grid frequency stability and energy consumption levels. UkrEnergo is a member of ENTSO-E, like most European countries, providing both sides numerous opportunities for cooperation. One of the most recent achievements was an increase in trade for 300 MW (250 MW before) capacity between ENTSO-E and Ukrainian power plants. This agreement demonstrated that Ukraine fulfilled all the technical requirements and now can synchronize to the Continental Europe power system. 

Image downloaded from Facebook page of UkrEnergo

In my opinion, UkrEnergo demonstrates fascinating performance not only in the technical operation of the company but also in maintaining faith and certainty in its capacity. One of russian’s military strategies is to destabilize people’s trust in the government and its agents. However, UkrEnergo as the core service provider, successfully opposes it and demonstrates that it is not only sustainable but also constantly enhances. I reckon it requires enormous courage and strength to share such information and emphasize achievements instead of damages. War is cruel and demotivating, which is why it is vital to consider positive events as well. 

To sum up, Ukraine manages energy infrastructure efficiently, particularly due to UkrEnergo and its approach. russia attacks it on all fronts – technical, cyber, motivational, and resources. However, it does not intrude into the company’s performance and further plans for integration into the European power system. I appreciate such efforts of the company to remain on track and demonstrate the country’s accomplishments in such challenging times. No dark happens in the country unless we have electricity.

Iryna Nykoriak

Published 05.09.2022


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