Energy expert commends restoration efforts to date but cautions more action required
Oleksandr Kharchenko (video screenshot)

A year after the first massive missile attack on the energy infrastructure of Ukraine, the energy workers restored approximately half of the objects damaged and destroyed by the enemy. However, even this is much more than seemed possible to do, said Oleksandr Kharchenko, director of the Energy Industry Research Center (EIR Center).

Stay updated with the latest news by following us on X (Twitter)

Last cold season, the Russians destroyed half of the Ukrainian generation and half of the high-voltage networks. According to the expert, no person who is able to understand the scale of technical problems can be satisfied with what was done in seven months of repairs.

"They managed to do about 120% of what I expected to be done and probably 50% of what needed to be done. Much more was done than I thought could be done, but it was still far too short – there is still much to be done," said Kharchenko in the Zhovti Kedy YouTube show.

After the end of last winter, the Ukrainian authorities said that they planned to restore almost 80% of what was destroyed during the past winter.

At the beginning of July, Kharchenko said that it would not be possible to fully restore the energy infrastructure before the next cold season. He predicted the percentage of restoration at the level of 15-20%. But this is enough to get through the heating season.

Now, according to him, Ukrainian energy workers are not switching to the cold season mode, they work in the "repair – physical protection" format.

"New equipment has arrived – hooray! We are dismantling physical protection, installing new equipment and building physical protection again. This cycle is not stopping now," explained the director of the EIR Center.

The Ministry of Energy suggests that Russia will resume attacks on energy infrastructure with the onset of cold weather.

Ukraine has built a multi-level system of passive protection of energy facilities, which includes anti-missile and anti-drone elements. The executive director of DTEK, Dmytro Sakharuk, believes that the system is working. But only as protection against secondary damage.

The Minister of Infrastructure Oleksandr Kubrakov is convinced that the fortifications built to protect substations will serve for decades. In order to fully protect the grid, Ukraine will need the support of international partners.

On October 18, 2023, the Ukrainian energy system was temporarily left without four power units. Three units at the TPP were taken out for emergency repairs, and one more for scheduled repairs.