TechChernobyl as a symbol of clean energy? "Ukrainians have ambitious plans"

Chernobyl as a symbol of clean energy? "Ukrainians have ambitious plans"

Chernobyl - illustrative picture
Chernobyl - illustrative picture
Images source: © Getty Images | Francisco Goncalves

5:44 PM EDT, October 5, 2023, updated: 1:59 AM EDT, October 6, 2023

Ukraine wants to transform Chernobyl into one of the largest wind farms in Europe, reports IFL Science. Preliminary analyses show that the Exclusion Zone has the potential to generate wind energy with a power of 1000 megawatts (MW), which could supply electricity to approximately 800,000 households in Kiev and its surroundings.

Chernobyl gained a bad reputation due to the disaster at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, which occurred on the night of April 25 to 26, 1986. Its effects were terrifying and, what's more, are still visible today. The site of the former nuclear power plant is surrounded by a closed zone covering 1000 square miles, largely devoid of human activity due to radioactive contamination. However, this infamous symbol of a severe environmental disaster could soon transform into a symbol of clean energy, as noted by IFL Science.

A wind farm may be built in Chernobyl

In September 2023, representatives of the Ukrainian government, the transmission system operator Ukrenergo, and NOTUS Energy signed an agreement to explore the prospects of wind energy development in the Exclusion Zone in Chernobyl. It includes, among other things, determining the state of the existing network infrastructure and identifying potentially suitable areas based on radiation assessment and conducting an environmental impact assessment.

A wind farm of this size would significantly contribute to the development of renewable energy in Ukraine and would strengthen the independence and decentralization of Ukrainian energy supplies - conveyed the director of NOTUS energy Ukraine LLC, a Ukrainian development company of the NOTUS Energy Group.

In a press release from NOTUS Energy, several reasons were highlighted as to why locating such a facility in Chernobyl could be beneficial:

  • Kiev is about 90 miles away from Chernobyl, and modernizing the old power plant's infrastructure could enable the direct supply of electricity to the metropolitan area,
  • The construction and operation of a wind farm would allow for the utilization of the currently abandoned Exclusion Zone,
  • The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is uninhabited, therefore this area is less contentious from a social and ecological viewpoint.

Preliminary analyses by Notus Energy suggest that a wind farm in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone could produce 1000 megawatts of wind energy, which would be enough to supply approximately 800 thousand households in Kiev and its surroundings with electricity. In this way, Ukraine would have a chance to increase its energy independence. If the idea is implemented, our neighbor could gain one of the largest inland wind farms in Europe.

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