Innovation in the use of wood energy in the Ukrainian Carpathians: Opportunities and threats for rural communities


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Ukraine is traditionally deeply dependent on fossil and nuclear energy. However, in response to global climate and energy policies, a major shift towards renewable energy (RE) is presently underway. Apart from ample wind and solar capacities, the country has abundant bioenergy resources, mainly from agriculture and forestry. 

In an effort to understand how better use might be made of Ukraine's bioenergy resource, addressing sustainability goals as well as the needs of local communities, this study assesses the significance and future potential of wood energy for regional economies and households from an environmental, economic and social perspective. The study employs a mixed-method approach combining literature review, a Best Practice contest and semi-structured interviews with forestry sector stakeholders in rural areas of Transcarpathia and Lviv. Several reasons were identified for the scarcity of affordable bioenergy, including the export-oriented wood processing industry, the lack of forest road networks and machinery, the short-term character of national forest strategies in relation to bioenergy, and other institutional settings that limit access to forest resources.
 

Full reference: 

Soloviy, I., Melnykovych, M., Björnsen Gurung, A., Hewitt, R. J., Ustych, R., Maksymiv, L., Brang, P., Meessen, H., Kaflyk, M. 2019. Innovation in the use of wood energy in the Ukrainian Carpathians: Opportunities and threats for rural communities. Forest Policy and Economics, Vol.104, pp.160-169. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forpol.2019.05.001