On December 3, 2015, a second seminar was held as part of the “Building Capacities for Reform of the Energy Sector in Ukraine” project implemented by the Slovak Foreign Policy Association and the Centre for Global Studies: Strategy XXI (Ukraine) and supported by SlovakAid and the Visegrad Fund.
The seminar was officially opened by Mykhailo Gonchar, president of the Centre for Global Studies: Strategy XXI who introduced Karel Hirman, a leading Slovak energy expert, and unveiled the seminar program.
Alexander Duleba, the leading project expert and director of the Research Center of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association also welcomed the participants and spoke about future activities and Slovakia’s role within the Visegrad Group in supporting Ukraine’s pursuit of energy efficiency.
The V4 countries agreed each country’s role and responsibilities regarding sector-specific assistance to Ukraine, with Slovakia taking responsibility for energy efficiency. Soňa Krajčová, first secretary of the Slovak Embassy to Ukraine, addressed the participants, speaking briefly about the work of the embassy in supporting reforms in Ukraine and opportunities to finance projects through SlovakAid.
Karel Hirman, currently ELENA project manager and adviser on energy issues to the former prime minister of Slovakia in 2010–2012, discussed Slovak experiences of drafting national legislation on energy efficiency in line with European directives and regulations. He also assessed the goals of the 20–20–20 EU Program and how the energy sector operated before and after the implementation of energy efficiency projects. Presentations and discussions were also held on modernizing central heating systems, modernizing/insulating buildings, public lighting systems, urban engineering solutions for buildings, standards for insulating buildings, standardization, national and local planning and programs for municipal energy.
Detailed information was provided on energy efficiency projects implemented in Slovakia, and on EU and national supporting programs.
Karel Hirman is a qualified expert and he gave his presentation in Russian thus allowing for maximum opportunity for lively discussion with the audience. He answered many questions on the practical aspects of implementing the various projects. Representatives from ministries and government agencies expressed an interest in the differences in the legislation on the use of energy resources, specific issues relating to the projects and technical solutions.