Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has never been a normal war. From the beginning, the Russian army and its hired private army have targeted civilians. I won’t write here about the many horrendous things they have done to children, women, and men who were simply trying to live their lives, but one consistent target has been blowing up Ukraine’s electricity supply and heating supply. Power plants as well as electricity substations and transformers have been destroyed.
We are headed into winter, and having lived in that region for 11 years, I can assure you it will get very cold. Anyone who is without electric or gas heating will be struggling. And, despite the not-so-sunny season, that is why I’m publishing this plea. While large wind turbines may be a better fit for cheap electricity in winter in Ukraine, they take too long to install and require too much expertise. Solar panels can go up in days and help provide much needed electricity anywhere.
Russia is going to increase its attacks on electric power supply as it fails to win on the battlefield and as Ukrainian citizens face the natural threats of winter. Ukrainians need easy, decentralized, quick-to-install electricity generation equipment yesterday.
If you work at a solar power company, or have the ability to influence one, consider the marketing benefits of donating to Ukraine. Consider the lives on the line. Or launch a campaign to crowdsource the funding and make it a joint effort.
I was actually in Ukraine just about 9 years ago to present on clean energy, blogging, and CleanTechnica. I took these pictures at a power plant in Crimea that I got to tour:
That sign captures the attitude and cultural energy of the people of Ukraine. They are some of the most hopeful, idealistic (in a good way), and positive people I have met — which is in some ways astounding considering their location and history. They deserve our support, and they deserve electricity this winter.
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