Ukraine is grappling with an energy crisis as energy consumption nears record highs, putting strain on the already fragile power sector.
Reuters reported that nearly 500 settlements are experiencing blackouts due to Russian shelling, air strikes, and adverse weather conditions.
Ukraine, which was an exporter of electricity before Russia’s invasion in February 2022, has resorted to emergency power imports from neighboring Romania and Poland to meet the soaring demand.
“The power system remains in a difficult situation. At the moment, there is no free capacity at power plants,” Ukraine’s grid operator, Ukrenergo, stated. The power system is entering a second winter at war, weakened by months of Russian attacks on critical infrastructure.
The Kyiv government reported that 492 settlements across Ukraine are without electricity due to various factors, including bad weather, shelling, strikes, and combat actions.
Residents are urged to conserve electricity as Russian attacks persist. Consumption levels are at their highest for the current heating season, rising by 4% on Thursday compared to the previous day.
Ukrenergo mentioned that a thermal power plant in the east has been consistently damaged by prolonged shelling, affecting the power system.
The energy ministry reported that three power units at the plant in a frontline region were not operational, leading to additional strain on the power system.
Another power facility in a different region had to be shut down for emergency repairs. The presence of dense cloud cover over the country further hampers the operation of solar power plants.