Ukraine is known for its expanding agricultural production on its fertile black earth. Following the global trend in supporting liquid biofuels, in 2012 the country introduced a blending target of seven per cent bioethanol to be reached by 2016. This is strongly related to European Union’s policies, in particular the Renewable Energy Directive, and the country’s membership in the European Energy Community that shall ensure the adaption of the acquis communautaire in the field of energy. Against this background, the paper analyses how the imaginaries of biofuels are created and transmitted to Ukraine as a form of renewable energy. It examines how the Ukrainian biofuel policies are developed and influenced by different actors and institutions of Ukraine and the EU. It also highlights the difficulties they encounter in terms of establishing a biofuels sector. Drawing theoretically on historical-materialist policy analysis the state is understood as a social relation. Within this approach the embedment of Ukraine in the international environment can be captured with the category of internalization that links internal to external social forces. The paper examines the different attempts, interests, strategies and failures of Ukrainian and EU actors who established the blending target and try to enhance the production of biofuels in Ukraine since the beginning of the 2000s. In this regard, the specifics of the Ukrainian state and especially its close interconnection of business and politics constitute the main challenges.
This media entry was a contribution to the special session „Imagining biofuels in the Black Earth: A historical-materialist policy analysis on the influence and limitations of the EU's bio-economy strategy on Ukraine“ at the 5th International Degrowth Conference in Budapest in 2016.