The energy sector is of key importance for the national economic development, as both production and municipal facilities require electric power for their operation. The energy sector peculiarity is that the technological equipment and primary generators of electric energy are separated from consumers. As a result, power generation, transmission and distribution have become separate industries.
Large energy operations have been established in Ukraine, such as Donbasenergo, Dniproenergo, Kharkivenergo, Vinnytsyaenergo, Lvivenergo, Odesaenergo and Crimeaenergo, which in conjunction with other oblast energy companies make up the Power Grid of Ukraine. The latter is connected with power systems of Western and Central European countries, as well as the CIS countries, including primarily Russia, Moldova and Belarus. The sector restructuring shows itself in separation of generating companies from power supply network companies, which favors regularization and commercialization of the energy market of Ukraine.
Three types of generation facilities are operated in Ukraine, including thermal power plants (steam turbine and diesel types), hydroelectric plants (hydroelectric proper and hydroelectric accumulating plants) and nuclear power plants. The role of wind and helium power plants is growing.
At present, the situation in the energy sector is characterized by the following parameters: the total capacity of all Ukrainian power plants exceeds 53 million kW, including 34.8 million kW (65.3%) at thermal plants, 13.8 million kW (25.9%) at nuclear plants and 4.7 million kW (8.8%) at hydroelectric plants.
In 1997 power plants of Ukraine produced 178.7 billion kW, with thermal plants accounting for about 43%, nuclear power plants for nearly 45%, and hydroelectric plants for nearly 6%.
The main areas of condensing power plants operation include the Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Luhansk Oblasts in the east of Ukraine, the Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk Oblasts in the west of Ukraine, and the Kyiv and Vinnytsya Oblasts in the central part of the country. The major producers and consumers of power are the Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhya, Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
Power resources of Ukraine are mainly formed by domestic generation capacities (nearly 98%), with the import share being insignificant (2%). The power is largely consumed inside the country (97%), with a small part exported (3%).
Ukraine operates five nuclear power plants, including the Zaporizhzhya, South-Ukrainian, Rivne, Khmelnytsky, and Chornobyl NPPs, and hydroelectric power generation cascades, of which six on the Dnipro are the largest.
In the future, the need for power is expected to grow calling for intensification of the sector development and optimizing of the organization structure and economic mechanisms of functioning in the market environment.