International projects of Uzhhorod National University: new energy solutions in the Carpathian region

International projects of Uzhhorod National University: new energy solutions in the Carpathian region

Access to the European Neighborhood Instrument and its cross-border cooperation programmes constantly opens up new development opportunities to the western cross-border regions of Ukraine. There are some priority areas within the Joint Operational Programme Hungary-Slovakia-Romania-Ukraine 2014-2020. They include the sustainable use of natural resources, developing sustainable consumption culture, monitoring, forecasting and prevention of natural and human-made disasters, emergencies, energy efficiency, introduction of environmentally friendly technologies, energy production from renewable sources etc.

 One of the largest international projects implemented by Uzhhorod National University is dedicated to the promotion of energy efficiency and development of renewable energy sources through educational and practical activities in communities to support sustainable use of natural resources in the border regions of Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. This article covers the successful implementation of the project "New energy solutions in the Carpathian region" NESICA HUSKROUA/1702/6.1/0014. This project contributes to the goal of the Programme "Environmental Protection, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation", providing a powerful platform for energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energy sources.

Who does Uzhhorod National University cooperate with in the field of implementation of efficient energy technologies, in particular in the project "New energy solutions in the Carpathian region"?

 Oksana Svezhentseva, Head of International Relations Department: “We are considering new energy solutions in the Carpathian region together with our international partners - scientists from Technical University of Košice, Nyíregyháza University, and  Stefan Sel Mare University of Suceava. Together with the university consortium, and with the participation of representatives of the Sabolch-Satmar-Bereg county self-governance authorities and the Center for European Initiatives, we regularly hold international scientific conferences, scientific and practical seminars, round tables and workshops on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Each team in the region offers new technologies and innovations to solve the problems of efficient energy consumption and energy saving, the purpose of which is to reduce energy consumption in residential, administrative and municipal buildings.”

 What are the main objectives identified by the project participants?

 Tetyana Holembovska, Deputy Head of the International Relations Department, Assistant to the Project Manager: Practical and theoretical objectives are clearly formulated for the international team. Firstly, it is the development of a strategic approach to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources in border regions, and secondly, it is raising awareness and competence of the population in border regions on global greenhouse gas emission reduction, opportunities of using renewable energy sources, and the creation of specialized energy efficiency and renewable energy laboratories in each partner region. With the support of the European funds, we are planning to increase the current low energy efficiency and carry out the reconstruction of the heating system using renewable energy sources, which will allow us to use solar power to provide the buildings with electricity.

Are the goals set within the project already being implemented in practice?

Oleksandr Rohach, Vice-Rector, Project Manager: “The goals of the international project are being actively implemented. A series of trainings conducted by foreign experts on energy efficiency and renewable energy has already started; our specialists and students also participate in them. In the near future, there will be workshops on "Prospective measures to reduce heat loss of buildings", "Methods and prospects of the introduction of renewable energy sources at UzhNU" and "Most promising measures to modernize the existing heating system on the example of UzhNU buildings."

Currently, we are actively preparing for the installation of a system of solar panels and heat pumps to heat the premises and the water in the swimming pool of the sports complex of Uzhhorod National University. Recently, a tender for the reconstruction of the heating system in the building of the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports of Uzhhorod National University with the use of renewable sources has been announced.”

What is the conceptual importance and relevance of the international project?

Oleh Luksha, Associate Professor of the Department of Electronic Systems, Director of the NGO International Institute for Humanity and Global Studies Noosphere: “An important aspect of the project is the development of a smart energy Joint Concept in the Carpathian region: "Eco-Smart Energy - Carpathia", which was recently presented at an international meeting by its developer.

The basic principles of the Joint Concept "Eco-Smart Energy - Carpathia" are: a) Compliance with the principle of sustainable development of territories and communities, i.e. compliance in practice of balance (coherence, harmonization) of economic, environmental and social components of their development; b) A comprehensive (systemic) approach to the implementation of multifactor, system-optimization analysis and the development of practical recommendations in the Concept; c) Ensuring the core nature of the implementation of the five evaluation criteria adopted in the EU regarding the prospects of success and implementation of the Concept as a strategic document, namely: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability.

I should note that in fact the idea and basic principles of the developed Concept "Smart - Energy - Carpathia" are not limited to the target area of ​​the NESICA Project. After all, the Carpathian macro-region in terms of its natural resource, economic and geographical, infrastructural and socio-political characteristics is a fairly integral natural-geographical territory in the center of the European continent, which includes countries such as Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Ukraine. As for Ukraine, the choice and legislative consolidation of the country's European integration course, signing and systemic implementation of the Association Agreement with the EU also necessarily dictates the coherence of energy decisions and use of natural energy potential with the basic EU principles and international agreements ratified by Ukraine.