Quarantine as a “window of opportunity”
Against the background of other states where the coronavirus pandemic is raging, restrictive measures in Ukraine are still not very severe, although the government has introduced the state of emergency. The transfer of the majority of personnel to remote work and the weakening of inspections surely pose risks for individual businesses, but the power system is stable. Therefore, the primary task for the government and the critical infrastructure operating companies still remains to protect workers and maintain process control.
An economic downturn will have much greater impacts on the industry. Low prices for energy sources may be good news for consumers who get smaller bills, but lower business activity means lesser business revenues and less tax paid, not to mention the impact on the foreign exchange rate and the formation of additional debt. Government officials should think about measures to stimulate the economy, for example, how to support state-owned and municipal energy companies, since not all of them will be able to survive this downturn financially.
On the other hand, any crisis is also an opportunity. There is a chance for the Ukrainian energy sector to build modern electronic services, especially in the relations between (gas, electricity, heat and utilities) consumers and suppliers. A “window of opportunity” also opens up for businesses, which is going online in communication with state regulatory and supervisory authorities. The main thing is to consolidate the most effective and successful practices after the quarantine restrictions are cancelled.