Category Archives: alternative energy

Types of heat generation in Ukraine in 2016 and their cost

In 2016, private consumers of heat in Ukraine receive the heat from the following sources:

  1. The most common one is electricity, which means electric boilers, electric fireplaces and heaters of different kinds. Skipping some details, in most cases the ultimate source is hydropower. Possible sources are nuclear power and thermal power stations. For the most of final consumers, the distributing functions are performed by HCS (Housing and Communal Services companies) or companies of “Region-Town-Energo” type. At the beginning of 2016 the cost of «elektroheating» is about 1 UAH/kW.

To take into account getting the heat directly to the consumer’s apartment, house, or other compartment, to the cost of heat generation we will add amortized cost of the equipment, such as cost per hour based on the «25 years of the equipment running». In this example we get 1 kW/h via ceramic heating plate 1200 UAH of cost. It serves at least 25 years, which means 25х365х24 = 219000 hours, or «amortized cost per hour» of 1200/219000 = 0,0054 UAH, i.e. it is inessential.

  1. This item probably should be the first, but I gave it up in favor of the previous one (that is why, perhaps, I write so subjectively). Anyway, the TEPLOKOMUNENERGO company offers heating for 1000 UAH for 50 sq. meters, regardless to the exact month of the heating season. To my apartment TEPLOKOMUNENERGO gave about 1 kW/h, or 1x24x30 = 720 kW/month, so I paid about 1,5 UAH/kW. For three months of the heating season, 1kW usually was not enough, for the remaining three months – too much… But that depends on the weather.
  2. Gas heating. It is 7,2 UAH/cbm, a cubic meter of gas produces about 10 kW, hence about 0,72 UAH/kW! It looks like gas even competes with electricity! Equipment in case of ordinary gas stove is immaterial. If you install a gas boiler and gas heating – well, let’s say the expenses will add another 10 percent – let it be 0,8 UAH/kW. The efficiency of a regular gas boiler is 85%, a condensing one – 95%, so, considering efficiency, the figures are the same as when heating by electricity. But, as in Ukraine a lot of consumers receive electricity at lower prices than 1 UAH/kW, plus «panic of recent years caused by political situation» – it is reported increasingly often of consumers giving up gas heating in favor of electricity or solid fuel.
  3. Elektroheating with heat pumps, with «30% of electricity consumption». For example, if you install a heat pump for 100 square meters and spend 219 000 UAH on installation (it is easier to count that way), then ​​it is 0,2 UAH more for each 1kW just in amortized cost (I think you need 5 kW/h for every 100 sq. meters, so we divide 219,000 to 219,000 hours and to 5). But the cost per kilowatt is reduced to 0,3 UAH or 0,3 UAH + 0,2 UAH (amortized cost) = 0,5 UAH/kW. Obviously, the cheapest and most comfortable heating today is possible to arrange with heat pumps or expensive air conditioners (which is virtually the same thing).

Expansion of heat generation by heat pumps is limited because of the high cost of equipment.

  1. Solid fuel boilers or wood boilers. You need to burn 0.3 kg of wood to get 1 kW of heat. The average cost of timber today is 3000 UAH for 3000kg, or 1 UAH/kg.

0,3 UAH for 1 kW of heat – well, it’s competitive! The equipment costs are usually insignificant, if you do not strive for high efficiency and don’t try to invent some pyrolysis long burning boilers… But it is for a reason that I wrote about electricity (with or without heat pumps) as the most convenient, and therefore most expanding type of heating! Wood-burning boilers are not for lazy people, but for romantics, for people who are willing to throw wood into fire instead of fitness workouts. Or there can be a boiler station for large number of consumers, with a stoker – the idea is taking place when considering ecology, because the burning of wood and wood waste will not produce any harmful emissions.

  1. Heating with solar collectors. To solve at least 70% heating of 100 square meter by solar collector and get 5 kW/h in the sun you need to install a solar collecting system of 500 vacuum tubes 1800mm at 58mm. That’s $ 10000 worth of equipment, including heat accumulator (night and «non-solar» heat accumulation), and other related equipment. It is possible that in sunny weather, these 500 tubes will get 100% (let there be a better prognosis to facilitate failures). We have just 0,2 UAH/kW of amortized cost (219000 UAH for equipment divided by 219000 hours of operation and 5 kW). It seems like there are no more expenses – pumps for water or coolant pumping are insignificant (though in different schemes of taking heat from 500 pipes the cost may be essential). But you need to place these 500 tubes somewhere, as well as the heat accumulator, and there still is the most important thing – like in heat pumps – the start-up expenses! Also, the systems with solar concentrators may be regarded as solar heating systems – and they take even a few times larger area, than the 500 tubes, but are several times cheaper – you may found a lot of offers from different inventors on YouTube on installation of solar concentrators and heating thereof. Though solar heating is the cheapest and most advantageous, it is not expanding widely because of the initial cost and large area required for installing the equipment.
  2. Solar power generation, followed by the use of «photoelectricity» for heating. It is different from the preceding paragraph in the way of lower efficiency, but better convenience. – here you can read more about this idea and the way of its realization. Let’s try and count the expenses through an example of a 10kW solar power plant, such as this one in the Kirovograd region., Video:

Averagely, such solar photovoltaic power plant gives 1200 kW per month of electricity, its cost with the installation is about $ 20000, or 500000 UAH, amortized cost of 1kW = 1,4 UAH.

In the case of feed-in tariff it is much more profitable to sell this 1kW “to the State” for 4 UAH, and get the heat for your house from other sources, so with the feed-in tariff the idea of ​​obtaining heat from solar electric power is meaningless.


In today’s Ukraine the most profitable and convenient way to heat your premises is by electricity purchased «from the state». Wood heating, if a consumer is willing to increase his «romantic time spending» is more profitable than electricity – but more troublesome. Gas heating remains convenient and profitable at the time – in this matter, as they say, every man to his own taste… If you already have gas heating, there is no point in giving it up, if you are facing a dilemma – you can think… Heat pumps and air conditioning also mean heating with electricity, but with three times less consumption, and, with the possible growth of the economy and the «wealth of consumers”, it is the most promising type of heating!

Yours faithfully,



Energy Capital Partners acquires Wheelabrator for $1.94 billion

In New Hampshire, Energy Capital Partners has closed on its acquisition of Wheelabrator Technologies for $1.94 billion. Wheelabrator, acquired from Waste Management, has 15 waste-to-electricity facilities that produce 768 MW per year. A new energy-from-waste facility is under construction in the U.K. and is scheduled to begin operations in 2015. They also recover metals from ash for recycling into commercial products. Mark Weidman, President CEO of Wheelabrator, expressed his excitement to be partnering with Energy Capital Partners and to benefit from their team’s substantial capital base, power generation expertise, and experience in clean energy and environmental infrastructure.

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Growth Energy berates University of Minnesota report’s ethanol analysis

In Washington, the University of Minnesota recently released a report entitled “Life Cycle Air Quality Impacts Of Conventional And Alternative Light-Duty Transportation In the United States,” which contains significant flaws in regards to their analysis of ethanol. Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy, released a statement regarding the report, railing it as “misleading, inaccurate” and running counter to a large body of expert research.

“This report also fails to account for the numerous environmental benefits ethanol provides. According to Argonne National Laboratory, ethanol reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by an average of 34 percent compared to gasoline, even when the highly controversial and disputed theory on Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) is factored into the modeling. However, the study by the University of Minnesota specifically excludes ILUC impacts, and Argonne has found that without ILUC included, ethanol reduces GHG emissions by 57 percent compared to gasoline.”

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Cellulosic will overtake biodiesel by 2020, according to Allied Market Research

In Oregon, the global advanced biofuels market is predicted to reach $23.9 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Allied Market Research. According to the predictions, biodiesel currently garners the largest market share; however, the latest and the most commercially viable Cellulosic ethanol would surpass Biodiesel and eventually lead the market by 2020. North America generated largest revenue, as it has over 50% of the globally installed capacity base. The growth will register in at an annualized rate of 49.4%.

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Bioenergy Association of California applauds passage of 250 MW feed-in-tariff program

In California, the Bioenergy Association of California has applauded the California Public Utilities Commission for its decision to launch a 250 megawatt feed-in-tariff program for small-scale bioenergy projects. The decision will assist in renewable electricity generation as a complement to wind and solar power, helping California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels, and helping California meet its waste diversion goals.

SB 1122 requires 250 MW of electricity generated from organic waste, including:
• 110 MW generated from organic waste that would otherwise be landfilled, wastewater treatment, co-digestion and food processing;
• 90 MW from dairy and agricultural waste; and
• 50 MW from forestry waste from high wildfire hazard zones.

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Syngenta’s Enogen wins Agri Marketing Magazine’s Product of the Year award

In Minnesota, Enogen, from Syngenta, has been honored as Agri Marketing Magazine’s 2014 Product of the Year. Lynn Henderson, publisher of Agri Marketing, said that the product was chosen because of the benefits it delivers to farmers, ethanol plants and rural communities. “Nominations are judged on criteria that include sales and marketing goals, competitive pressure in the marketplace and effective use of marketing tools in the introduction of the product,” she continued.

“Enogen corn arrived during a critical time for the renewable fuels industry,” said David Witherspoon, head of renewable fuels at Syngenta. “Since it hit the market in 2011, this unique grain has exceeded industry expectations and has the potential to add value throughout the corn ethanol supply chain.”

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Airbus signs MOU with Emerging Fuels for US sustainable aviation fuels

In the EU, Airbus has signed an MOU with Emerging Fuels for US sustainable aviation fuels production. EFT has developed an Advanced Fixed Bed F-T reactor and catalyst system that can convert synthesis gas from, it claims, virtually any carbonaceous feedstock into transportation fuels such as renewable diesel and sustainable jet fuel. The company recently signed a cooperation agreement with global energy infrastructure engineering, procurement and construction company Black Veatch (BV) that grants BV exclusivity in representing EFT technologies in select markets and applications.

“We look forward to interacting with all the stakeholders in the aviation supply chain and believe our relationships with Airbus Group and Black Veatch will help enable broad global development of sustainable/renewable aviation fuel facilities,” commented Kenneth Agee, President of Oklahoma-based EFT.

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Residual biomass process proven at KIT’s bioliq pilot plant in Germany

In Germany, the bioliq pilot plant at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) has launched successfully after EUR 64 million in investment. All of the plant’s stages, which produce synthetic fuels from residual biomass, have been successfully connected: flash pyrolysis, high-pressure entrained flow gasification, hot gas cleaning, and synthesis. As the bioliq process is based on straw and other biogenic residues, for the cultivation of which no additional areas are required, it does not compete with food and feedstock production.

Following the commissioning of the complete process chain, the project now enters an optimization phase in order to further improve the stages of the process and the resulting products. The fuel produced by the pilot plant will be used for test purposes. It is also aimed at developing new fuels and fuel components to further improve the energy efficiency and emission rates of today’s and new combustion engines.

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Growth Energy applauds USDA for helping lift China’s MIR 162 DDG ban

In Washington, China’s Vice Premier Wang Yang has committed to USDA Secretary Vilsack that China’s ban on U.S. DDGs containing the MIR 162 trait will be dropped. Tom Buise, CEO of Growth Energy, responded positively to the tentative event, saying “China has been the largest market for U.S. DDGs and with the restriction removed, we look forward to once again providing our highly nutritious animal feed to Chinese livestock producers, while also offering American producers the opportunity of an expanded market for the co-products of ethanol production.”

“While we are still awaiting the official regulatory announcement from China regarding the approval of this policy, it is welcome news for America’s ethanol industry. I would like to personally thank Secretary Vilsack for his leadership and steadfast commitment to ensuring a resolution to this issue.”

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Leifmark, New Holland Bale Stover for Ethanol

leifmark-new-holland-1Baling corn stover is part of the next generation of cellulosic ethanol, and two major players in the green fuel and agribusiness markets are moving that process forward. Leifmark, LLC and New Holland Agriculture recently teamed up to test equipment and methods used to gather, bale, and store the corn stover left behind after the grain harvest in two Iowa cornfields.

Paul Kamp, Leifmark’s Chicago-based partner, coordinated the 520-bale collection. “Using local specialists and best practices, we showed stover harvesting on area farms is very practical. That’s good news for three ethanol producers now considering new businesses making cellulosic ethanol from biomass.”

Developing more efficient methods and equipment brings down the overall cost of stover, says Kamp, whose company markets Inbicon Biomass Refinery technology in North America.

“Couple lower stover prices with a predictable supply chain,” adds Kamp, “and you reduce risk perceptions with biomass. So future plant owners can feel confident putting their capital into cellulosic ethanol projects.”

New Holland Agriculture’s Scott Wangsgard emphasizes that “technology companies like Inbicon have certain specifications for corn stover bales. To meet them, we’ve been designing specialized equipment that also boosts collection efficiencies.”

New Holland used a high-capacity baler and automated bale wagon that picks up, transports, and stacks the 3′ x 4′ x 8′ square bales required for Inbicon’s refining process. Officials say the square bales handle more easily than round ones, store in much less space, and pack tighter so flatbed trucks can haul more tonnage per trip.