Photo from UNIAN

The Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine is considering slashing feed-in tariffs (FITs) for existing large scale photovoltaic (PV, or solar) plants 15-25%, according to the Ukrainian Association of Renewable Energy (UARE).

An announcement to that effect was reportedly made by Konstantyn Chyzhyk, deputy minister of energy and environmental protection, during the Ukrainian Energy Forum event, PV Magazine reports.

The FIT cuts under consideration would see solar plants with a generation capacity of up to 10 MW shoulder a 15% reduction in payments with the figure rising to a 20% cut for 10-50 MW projects and 25% for larger facilities. Chyzhyk reportedly offered to soften the blow for developers by extending the term of affected ten-year contracts by five years.

Видео дня

The FIT program which expired at the end of last year paid large scale, ground-mounted PV projects EUR 0.1502/kWh over a period of 10 years.

An alternative method of reducing the cost of subsidizing Ukrainian solar would see developers of PV projects of all sizes agreeing to take a "voluntary" 12.5% FIT reduction.

Read alsoEuractiv: Ukraine's own Green Deal aims to slash energy imports

With Ukraine currently sparing solar developers costs of imbalance – the obligation to financially compensate the grid for over or under-production from their generation assets – the National Investment Council head of office reportedly warned, project owners who do not agree to voluntary cuts will face the introduction of such payments this year. Developers who play ball, however, will not have to pay such costs until 2022, Chyzhyk reportedly suggested.

The energy forum also reportedly heard the proposed retroactive FIT cut for wind power facilities would be 10% combined with five-year payment contract extensions.

Renewables lobby group the UARE said the proposals flew in the face of plans announced by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to attract $50 billion worth of investment in renewables in the next five years.

Ukraine had 1.3 GW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2018, according to International Renewable Energy Agency statistics. Large projects commissioned last year included a 240 MW solar plant and a further 240 MW of net-metered rooftop PV was also deployed, ensuring the nation currently boasts at least 1.8 GW of solar capacity.