In 2016, private consumers of heat in Ukraine receive the heat from the following sources:
- The most common one is electricity, which means electric boilers, electric fireplaces and heaters of different kinds. Skipping some details, in most cases the ultimate source is hydropower. Possible sources are nuclear power and thermal power stations. For the most of final consumers, the distributing functions are performed by HCS (Housing and Communal Services companies) or companies of “Region-Town-Energo” type. At the beginning of 2016 the cost of “elektroheating” is about 1 UAH/kW.
To take into account getting the heat directly to the consumer’s apartment, house, or other compartment, to the cost of heat generation we will add amortized cost of the equipment, such as cost per hour based on the “25 years of the equipment running”. In this example we get 1 kW/h via ceramic heating plate 1200 UAH of cost. It serves at least 25 years, which means 25х365х24 = 219000 hours, or “amortized cost per hour” of 1200/219000 = 0,0054 UAH, i.e. it is inessential.
- This item probably should be the first, but I gave it up in favor of the previous one (that is why, perhaps, I write so subjectively). Anyway, the TEPLOKOMUNENERGO company offers heating for 1000 UAH for 50 sq. meters, regardless to the exact month of the heating season. To my apartment TEPLOKOMUNENERGO gave about 1 kW/h, or 1x24x30 = 720 kW/month, so I paid about 1,5 UAH/kW. For three months of the heating season, 1kW usually was not enough, for the remaining three months – too much… But that depends on the weather.
- Gas heating. It is 7,2 UAH/cbm, a cubic meter of gas produces about 10 kW, hence about 0,72 UAH/kW! It looks like gas even competes with electricity! Equipment in case of ordinary gas stove is immaterial. If you install a gas boiler and gas heating – well, let’s say the expenses will add another 10 percent – let it be 0,8 UAH/kW. The efficiency of a regular gas boiler is 85%, a condensing one – 95%, so, considering efficiency, the figures are the same as when heating by electricity. But, as in Ukraine a lot of consumers receive electricity at lower prices than 1 UAH/kW, plus “panic of recent years caused by political situation” – it is reported increasingly often of consumers giving up gas heating in favor of electricity or solid fuel.
- Elektroheating with heat pumps, with “30% of electricity consumption”. For example, if you install a heat pump for 100 square meters and spend 219 000 UAH on installation (it is easier to count that way), then it is 0,2 UAH more for each 1kW just in amortized cost (I think you need 5 kW/h for every 100 sq. meters, so we divide 219,000 to 219,000 hours and to 5). But the cost per kilowatt is reduced to 0,3 UAH or 0,3 UAH + 0,2 UAH (amortized cost) = 0,5 UAH/kW. Obviously, the cheapest and most comfortable heating today is possible to arrange with heat pumps or expensive air conditioners (which is virtually the same thing).
Expansion of heat generation by heat pumps is limited because of the high cost of equipment.
- Solid fuel boilers or wood boilers. You need to burn 0.3 kg of wood to get 1 kW of heat. The average cost of timber today is 3000 UAH for 3000kg, or 1 UAH/kg.
0,3 UAH for 1 kW of heat – well, it’s competitive! The equipment costs are usually insignificant, if you do not strive for high efficiency and don’t try to invent some pyrolysis long burning boilers… But it is for a reason that I wrote about electricity (with or without heat pumps) as the most convenient, and therefore most expanding type of heating! Wood-burning boilers are not for lazy people, but for romantics, for people who are willing to throw wood into fire instead of fitness workouts. Or there can be a boiler station for large number of consumers, with a stoker – the idea is taking place when considering ecology, because the burning of wood and wood waste will not produce any harmful emissions.
- Heating with solar collectors. To solve at least 70% heating of 100 square meter by solar collector and get 5 kW/h in the sun you need to install a solar collecting system of 500 vacuum tubes 1800mm at 58mm. That’s $ 10000 worth of equipment, including heat accumulator (night and “non-solar” heat accumulation), and other related equipment. It is possible that in sunny weather, these 500 tubes will get 100% (let there be a better prognosis to facilitate failures). We have just 0,2 UAH/kW of amortized cost (219000 UAH for equipment divided by 219000 hours of operation and 5 kW). It seems like there are no more expenses – pumps for water or coolant pumping are insignificant (though in different schemes of taking heat from 500 pipes the cost may be essential). But you need to place these 500 tubes somewhere, as well as the heat accumulator, and there still is the most important thing – like in heat pumps – the start-up expenses! Also, the systems with solar concentrators may be regarded as solar heating systems – and they take even a few times larger area, than the 500 tubes, but are several times cheaper – you may found a lot of offers from different inventors on YouTube on installation of solar concentrators and heating thereof. Though solar heating is the cheapest and most advantageous, it is not expanding widely because of the initial cost and large area required for installing the equipment.
- Solar power generation, followed by the use of “photoelectricity” for heating. It is different from the preceding paragraph in the way of lower efficiency, but better convenience. http://msd.com.ua/solnechnaya-energetika/solnechnaya-energetika-v-ukraine-2015-2016-goda/ – here you can read more about this idea and the way of its realization. Let’s try and count the expenses through an example of a 10kW solar power plant, such as this one in the Kirovograd region., Video:
Averagely, such solar photovoltaic power plant gives 1200 kW per month of electricity, its cost with the installation is about $ 20000, or 500000 UAH, amortized cost of 1kW = 1,4 UAH.
In the case of feed-in tariff it is much more profitable to sell this 1kW “to the State” for 4 UAH, and get the heat for your house from other sources, so with the feed-in tariff the idea of obtaining heat from solar electric power is meaningless.
In today’s Ukraine the most profitable and convenient way to heat your premises is by electricity purchased “from the state”. Wood heating, if a consumer is willing to increase his “romantic time spending” is more profitable than electricity – but more troublesome. Gas heating remains convenient and profitable at the time – in this matter, as they say, every man to his own taste… If you already have gas heating, there is no point in giving it up, if you are facing a dilemma – you can think… Heat pumps and air conditioning also mean heating with electricity, but with three times less consumption, and, with the possible growth of the economy and the “wealth of consumers”, it is the most promising type of heating!