UBA held III Energy Law Conference in Warsaw
The III Energy Law Conference (Part 2), organized by the Ukrainian Bar Association, took place on September 14, 2023, in Warsaw, Poland.
This year's event covered the challenges of ensuring energy security in Central and Eastern Europe, the restoration and reconstruction of Ukraine's energy infrastructure, as well as financing and investments in the energy sector.
Leading experts in the field, representatives of regulatory bodies and specialized state institutions, industry associations, and market operators were guests and speakers at the conference.
At the beginning of the event, Mykola Stetsenko, President of the Ukrainian Bar Association, Managing Partner at AVELLUM, greeted participants online and wished for a productive conference.
The topic of the first session was the low-carbon transition in the context of energy security in Central and Eastern Europe. Nataliia Tuzheliak, Associate at White & Case, Paris, Board Member of the UBA International Law Committee who moderated the first session, noted in her opening remarks that the world is currently experiencing a truly global energy crisis for the first time. She emphasized the particularly complex situation in Europe, which is at the center of shocks in the energy market caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Ms. Tuzheliak pointed out that, according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Energy Outlook for 2022, the energy crisis provoked by Russian armed aggression is causing profound and long-lasting changes that could actually accelerate the transition to a more sustainable and secure energy system.
Tim Gould, Chief Energy Economist at the IEA, provided more detailed information about the current consequences of the global energy crisis for the energy transition in Central and Eastern Europe. He also touched on the topic of investments in clean energy. In addition, Mr. Gould talked about the key directions of the implementation of the joint working program (in particular, related to energy transition) signed by Ukraine and the IEA in December 2022.
During the session, Natalia Tuzheliak presented a presentation on the electric power capacities that Ukraine possessed before the full-scale Russian invasion and what remains now. In particular, due to Russian attacks on the energy infrastructure that began in October 2022, the Ukrainian energy system temporarily lost about 50% of its total capacity.
Farid Safarov, Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine for Digital Transformation and Digitalisation, spoke about the key investment opportunities in Ukraine's energy sector seen by the government.
Gabriela Miranda, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Country Manager for Ukraine, focused on the four-year country program launched by the OECD and the Ukrainian government on June 7, 2023. The program aims to support the Ukrainian agenda for reforms, recovery, and reconstruction and focuses on several policy areas, such as implementing OECD recommendations on competition in the Ukrainian electricity sector, reforming corporate governance in state enterprises, and aligning reform efforts with OECD tax standards.
Ms. Miranda spoke about the organization's support for the Ukrainian government's policy in the energy sector. According to her, OECD recommendations are aimed at making the sector more efficient and competitive. Gabriela Miranda emphasized that many reforms implemented by the Ukrainian authorities since 2014 have been very successful, but some of them have been unavoidably delayed due to the full-scale war. Also, in her opinion, Ukraine should be an exporter of energy resources, as it has enormous potential.
Olga Yeriomina, Associate Director, Senior Banker of the Energy Department at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), discussed the investment goals and development policy objectives of the EBRD that align with the goal of accelerating energy decarbonization. Ms. Yeriomina also revealed details of three memoranda of understanding regarding the bank's continued work on enhancing Ukraine's energy security, which the EBRD signed with Denys Shmyhal, the Prime Minister of Ukraine, in June of this year.
Additionally, the EBRD representative shared insights into potential ways to further support and insure new projects in renewable energy generation and storage in Ukraine amid the full-scale war.
The second session of the conference was dedicated to the role of nuclear energy and nuclear technologies in the global transition to carbon-free energy. The session was moderated by Ximena Vásquez-Maignan, Counsel at White & Case, Paris.
Participants discussed the following issues:
- The turn back to nuclear energy in the context of the energy crisis
- Nuclear energy & its role in the CEE energy security
- Procurement & management in the nuclear power industry
- Innovations and latest trends: SMR as a low-cost clean energy solution
- Nuclear investment projects
Ray P. Kuyler, Deputy General Counsel at Westinghouse Electric Company, talked about the environmental and safety advantages of nuclear energy (PRESENTATION).
Peter Hall, General Counsel at Rolls-Royce SMR, informed conference participants about the features and advantages of small modular reactors (SMRs) as a new way of building nuclear power plants to meet Net Zero requirements (PRESENTATION).
Daniel Garton, Partner at White & Case, London, provided detailed information about the structure of procurement in nuclear energy, operational risk management, and dispute resolution in this industry (PRESENTATION).
During the third session, participants discussed the investment potential of wind and solar energy in CEE, focusing on:
- Investment into post-war recovery of renewable energy infrastructure in Ukraine
- Poland and its energy mix transformation path
- International financing of wind and solar projects in Ukraine and Poland: views of a financial institution and an investor
Maria Kostytska, Partner at the Paris and Washington DC offices at Winston & Strawn, moderated the session, and the speakers included:
- Ivan Bondarchuk, Counsel, Head of Energy and Natural Resources practice at LCF Law Group, Board Member of the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA)
- Andriy Konechenkov, Chairman of the Board of the Ukrainian Wind Energy Association (UWEA) (PRESENTATION)
- Kyrylo Kostyria, Head of Legal Department at UDP Renewables
- Sylwia Zwolan, Associate at White & Case, Warsaw (PRESENTATION)
The topic of the fourth and final session of the conference was the financing of energy transition projects. Participants discussed:
- Planning and implementation of energy transition projects: tax advantages, loans or guarantees
- Financing clean energy transitions: an investor’s perspective
- Energy transition investment trends and success stories
The session was moderated by Olga Savchenko, Partner at ALTELAW legal company, Chair of the Legal Support Committee of the Solar Energy Association of Ukraine (ASEU), and Grzegorz Abram, Partner at White & Case, Warsaw.
- Juan de Porras Aguirre, Head of Corporate & Investment Banking / Vice-President of the Management Board at Santander Bank Polska (PRESENTATION)
- Olyana Gordiyenko, Corporate Governance Advisor at ICU Group
- Magdalena Sobczyńska, Member of the Management Board at NOVENERGIA (part of the TotalEnergies Group)
The Ukrainian Bar Association is grateful for invaluable support to our sponsors: