Ukraine’s unfinished natural gas and electricity reforms: one step forward, two steps back

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    Abstract

    This paper seeks to explain Ukraine’s natural gas and electricity sector reforms, to outline the challenges facing these two sectors going forwards and to identify prospects for renewables. It makes three core arguments: First, the regulatory templates promoted by the European Union do not lend themselves to swift implementation. This is because the EU’s approach has been supply-driven, in the sense that it exports regulatory templates already developed within the EU; it is not, therefore, a suitable problem-solving measure for a crisis-stricken country with limited capacities and powerful vested interests. Second, there has been very slow progress made in innovative and creative shifts in Ukrainian energy transition policy, showing a lack of commitment to the transformation and modernisation of energy systems that should in principle be based on the promotion of new business models backed up by reformed political, regulatory and industrial infrastructures. Third, Ukrainian elites have been formally open to the flow of rules as evidenced by a number of agreements concluded between the EU and Ukraine. But, in practice, the pre-existing, deep-seated preferences of those elites have perpetuated the opaque gas trading system, resulting in them being very selective about the rules that they are actually prepared to adopt.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)73-96
    Number of pages24
    JournalEurasian Geography and Economics
    Volume60
    Issue number1
    Early online date20-Mar-2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Keywords

    • POLICY

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