Attendees of DiXi Group’s training course schooled to prepare media materials about energy
DiXi Group and Kyiv School of Economics jointly held a four-day course in practical journalism, “Energy Reporting and Investigation”. More than 50 journalists from various media received specialized information to prepare materials about the energy sector.
During the training, media representatives learned how the electricity and gas markets work, and how the government regulates this sector and protects consumers. They received recommendations from experts about where to find information for analytical publications and investigations, and what sources of energy information are trustworthy. Also, the attendees and media specialists analyzed the writing style of the most resonant investigations in the energy sector.
Over 20 lecturers and mentors conducted the classes and consulted the attendees on writing their materials, including representatives of the NEURC, the State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection, the State Inspectorate for Energy Oversight, USAID Energy Sector Transparency, and USAID Energy Security Project, ProZorro, the Antitrust League, Bihus.info, Ukrainska Pravda, Business.censor, Slidstvo.info, and STB TV channel.
In particular, DiXi Group Research Director Roman Nitsovych devoted a lot of time to answering questions from the journalists. The questions concerned the gas release program for Ukrgazvydobuvannia and the price intervention practice employed in many EU states to protect consumers against price hikes or unfair behavior of suppliers.
“European gas markets move toward greater competition by developing commodity exchange trading and enhancing consumers. Ukraine is catching up with them and has achieved a substantial progress, yet it still must fully implement the EU’s Third Energy Package,” Roman Nitsovych said. “First of all, we’re talking about development of a short-term market and keeping the course toward a free retail market, despite the temporary capping of prices for households. Like in the EU, Ukrainian consumers must have the choice of various suppliers and their products (contracts on different terms), and overall, receive a better-quality service. Consumer awareness is very important, and for that purpose, we launched Gasotheque service and publish various explanatory materials; for that purpose, we teach the media that cover operation of the Ukrainian gas market.”
DiXi Group Analytical Services Manager Bohdan Serebrennikov addressed the following topics in his lecture: how electricity markets in Ukraine and the EU work, where electricity in our homes comes from, how money gets from consumers to generating enterprises. In particular, he explained the prospects of market development in comparison with EU states.
“In Europe, the segment of the day-ahead market is 30-35%, while in Ukraine, its share is significantly lower. At the same time, the penalties market — balancing market — in Europe is about 1%, while in our country, it reaches 3-5%. It means that the market is immature, that we haven’t learned yet how to forecast the production and consumption volumes the right way,” the expert said.
In his opinion, integration into the European network, ENTSO-E, could increase the market’s liquidity. However, that won’t happen before 2023.
“Everybody expects a positive effect from that. On the one hand, we can enter the European market and export electricity. On the other hand, it should benefit consumers, because our market is not very liquid and is quite concentrated. Therefore, consumers will receive better offers,” Mr. Serebrennikov added.
After the training, the attendees have already published 16 journalistic materials about the energy sector in early March. The transcripts of selected lectures from this course will be made publicly available in the nearest future.
The training course held within USAID Energy Sector Transparency implemented by NGO DiXi Group. The contents are the sole responsibility of DiXi Group and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.