WASHINGTON, D.C. -- While renewable energy is still a relatively small industry in Ukraine, the sector has witnessed phenomenal growth in recent years. In 2019 alone, renewable energy capacity doubled and now makes up around 4% of the energy mix. With the goal to have 25% of the grid fed by renewables by 2030, investment in wind, solar, hydro and biomass is set to continue growing as the industry becomes increasingly attractive to foreign investors.

Although Ukraine has the perfect setting for renewables — vast and windy fields, hillsides and a meandering Dnipro River — the country’s alternative energy sector is still in its infancy.

Eco-Optima is the largest company in Western Ukraine, which is engaged in the development and implementation of renewable environmentally friendly energy sources.

Eco-Optima is a 15-year-old family-based business that got its start developing a wind farm near the picturesque Lviv region town of Staryi Sambir, in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). From there, it has branched out into solar power and biomass with the continued support of strong international partners.

While the Lviv region may not be the sunniest or windiest in Ukraine, it still has massive potential for renewables and is the setting for the majority of Eco-Optima’s work.

For Eco-Optima, clean energy is not just the way of the future but the basis for a successful business model that thrives in today’s changing Ukraine. Eco-Optima was one of the first companies to take advantage of the profitable tariffs and invested into renewable energy sources in western Ukraine. The company is particularly interested in solar, wind, hydro and thermal energy.

During the company's work, a number of projects in the field of energy were implemented. At the same time, new investment projects, in particular small hydropower and biofuels, are constantly being developed. Eco Optima has built and launched eight solar and four wind power plants. Its biggest power station generates 46 megawatts of wind energy. Under Eco-Optima operations 445 thousands solar panels and 10 WEF wind turbines with 154 MW. total power and 214 kwh. annual production of electric energy.

In addition to electricity production, the important direction of the company's activity is improving the quality of life of people in the cities and villages where facilities are located. The company is interested in the development of local communities, therefore Eco-Optima support and finance local social and infrastructure projects.

“For each project, we create a new limited liability company, registered in the village or town where the project is implemented, in order to pay taxes locally. This is our approach to help the local society and to ensure good relations with the local authorities.” - says Zinovii Kozytskyi Head of Eco-Optima Supervisory Board.

Having successfully worked alongside international investors and development banks, it has gained a strong reputation in Ukraine’s burgeoning renewable energy sector and is one of the top-five solar and wind producers in the country. But despite the sunny weather sometimes Eco-Optima is facing challenges.  

“Investors are coming from Europe, Canada, and the US, and are attracted by Ukraine’s vast renewable potential, generous green tariff (one of the highest in the world) and favorable business and legislative climate. “Now we have a lot of FDI coming in, so the market is really growing. We are very active on the market, working with local people to explain why it is important to develop renewables.” says Zinovii Kozytskyi Head of Eco-Optima Supervisory Board.

Eco-Optima is involved only in green projects. There is also a trend in Germany that people like to buy green energy, like to produce green energy, and like to live in a green world. Eco-Optima is ready to carry out such projects to give people environmentally friendly energy and to build a green world for families. In terms of renewable energy investment, the big wind projects don’t tend to be in the western part of Ukraine because it is not so windy. Lviv region is also not the sunniest region in Ukraine, although if you compare Ukraine to Germany, the country has the same sun intensity.

The company is deeply involved in support and community development. On April 16, 2020, Eco-Optima purchased personal protective equipment to Lviv region hospitals. “The COVID-19 pandemic that is raging in the world today has become a real test for all humanity, for all countries, governments and nations. Even the largest and richest countries are unprepared for such a pandemic.” – said Zinovii Kozytskyi.

Eco-Optima is actively involved in helping to combat the epidemic. Initially, the company was engaged in the refurbishment of oxygen supply systems in first- and second-line hospitals that receive infected patients. Together with the Lviv IT Cluster and the Department of Health of the Regional State Administration, they assisted in the organization of rapid testing.

“ We have created an interesting and effective system of cooperation between the authorities, volunteers and entrepreneurs. There is no competition here, only the desire to help as much as possible and get the appropriate result in the form of necessary medical equipment, means of protection, accumulation of financial resources. The most important is the protection of health care professionals who work in direct contact with infected patients. In total, our group of companies has already provided charitable assistance for UAH 5.8 million. And we will continue to help our people overcome the effects of the pandemic.” said Zinovii Kozytskyi.

In cooperation with other companies in Lviv region Eco-Optima purchased over 6000 disposable kits, 1400 reusable, 1000 respirators and 1000 reusable protective masks to the medical institutions of the region.  In next week or two, local business community plan to put on 10,000 protective suits.

The over 200 members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), www.USUBC.org, are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Eco-Optima" said USUBC President, Morgan Williams.

USUBC NOTE: Eco-Optima is a members of the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council (USUBC), Wash, D.C., www.USUBC.org