BiH does not perceive the energy transition as an opportunity but as a threat

31.08.2022. / 17:00

BANJALUKA – Although it has committed itself to begin the transition to renewable sources and abandon dirty energy sources, BiH is still living and, unfortunately, trying to develop on the concept of energy from the eighties of the last century, perceiving the energy transition as a threat, not as a chance for accelerated and sustainable development.

Photo: RiTE Gacko

This is the opinion of the professional public regarding the fulfillment of the obligations that BiH assumed by signing the agreements with the European Union.

Damir Miljević, a consultant in the field of energy transition, says that in this process BiH lags significantly behind Europe and the region in all segments, starting with decarbonization, through digitization and decentralization, all the way to the democratization of the energy sector.

“This is best manifested through the reports of the Energy Community, in which BiH is among the worst ranked countries every year. That is why we are threatened with complete marginalization of the country when it comes to energy, investment and economic trends and flows”Miljević believes.

By signing the so-called According to Miljević, at the end of the Sofia Declaration in 2021, BiH undertook to become carbon neutral by 2050 along with other European countries. However, almost nothing is done about it.

Fossil fuels make up 75 percent of all energy sources in Bosnia and Herzegovina

“We have committed to stop using coal, oil and gas as energy sources, but we are doing almost nothing in this regard. By 2030, we are obliged to introduce a charge for CO2 emissions from polluters. Seven years on, we still don’t tax CO2 emitters in any way. The fact that fossil fuels of all kinds make up over 75 percent of all energy sources in the total energy balance of Bosnia and Herzegovina shows how much of a task and obligation lies before us. Despite this, the authorities and electricity companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina continue to get carried away with the construction of new coal-fired power blocks and the modernization of the existing, most expensive and dirtiest sources of energy. explains Miljević.

To make the problem even bigger, he explains, we also use energy irrationally and are the worst in the region and the world because we spend four times more than the average of EU countries and 35 percent more than North Macedonia or Montenegro.

energy transition

Photo: RiTE Gacko

In the survey of the Barometer of the readiness of countries for the energy transition, in which 120 experts participated, it was assessed that the biggest problem in the energy transition in BiH is the perception that it is being faked, that is, that one thing is talked about and the other is done.

“It is a consequence of absolute misunderstanding and ignorance or ignorance of everything that happens in the world and in our immediate environment. In addition, a strong connection between politics and the electricity industry was established, which were assessed by experts as obstacles to the transition due to their monopoly position, but also as actors who do not have enough knowledge, skills and financial strength to lead the transition in the country.” says Miljević.

The main consequence of our delaying and faking the energy transition will not be any punishment, but the price will be paid by the citizens and the economy through economic, social and economic backwardness, and further marginalization of the country.

Doctor of electrical engineering and professor emeritus Mirza Kušljugić for the portal CAPITAL says that he is convinced that, when signing international treaties and agreements, those who represented BiH did not have a clear picture and awareness of where we are and how complicated the processes we should go through are. He says that Bosnia and Herzegovina lags far behind the world and does not see the problem that threatens everyone.

“The essential question is whether, when we assumed obligations from the EU, we were guided only by the financial component. Before the corona, the energy transition was a process of decarbonization, increasing energy efficiency, electrification, reducing consumption, and abandoning fossil fuels. Now it must be viewed from the aspect of security of supply, and the question arises as to which policies enable energy transition and decarbonization in the long term, and increase security of supply in the short term.” says Kušljugić.

Photo: Klix.ba

Only one electricity company fully uses renewable sources

He explains that the whole world is dealing with this very issue today and that everyone, except Bosnia and Herzegovina, is rapidly preparing for restrictions, reductions and lack of energy sources.

“In the conditions of the energy crisis, Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only one that bases all its economic activities on fossil fuels, and there are no announcements of difficult supply or reductions. All the countries around us have problems in the power sector. Although energy should be available to everyone, the price at which it is procured is not what these countries can afford. This was openly admitted by Serbia, which openly admitted that it could not withstand the crisis due to a series of problems in the power sector. That is why they will pay the import price of electricity of 650 euros per megawatt hour”, says Kušljugić.

Three power companies are responsible for security of supply in BiH, of which only one, the one in Mostar, relies entirely on renewable energy sources.

“And then we have the specific situation that Elektroprivreda HZHB Mostar has to import electricity because it is a bad hydrological year and the question is whether it can sustain the price. At the same time, you have EP RS and EP FBiH, which use fossil fuels and which export energy”, says Kušljugić.

He claims that there are still some developments, although they are not the clearest and it is not known how they will work.

“In addition to the announcement of many projects, the EP RS has finally started the project of 50,000 photovoltaic installations. Something is also being done at the “Bistrica” ​​HPP, although we know that there are a lot of problems there, as well as with the solar power plant in Trebinje, and there are no results when it comes to wind power plants, especially the “Hrgud” one. The same applies to the FBiH EP. Mostar EP already has hydroelectric power plants, one wind power plant and should realize another one, and it works on solar power plants. For them, we can say that they have embarked on the energy transition, only in terms of renewable sources in which they themselves invest”. says Kušljugić and adds that we are now at the beginning of the end of the old paradigm.

The Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Republika Srpska told us that with the Energy Development Strategy until 2035, they defined and committed themselves to manage resources in a rational and responsible manner, provide quality energy available to all citizens and the economy, take care of environmental protection and balance in the natural sphere.

Serbia invests 2.2 billion, the Federation has no answer

“The total value of the energy projects that are currently started or contracted in Srpska amounts to 2.2 billion KM, which is a really impressive figure, which shows that Srpska is moving towards the goal we have set, that by 2035, 11, 5 billion KM”, they said in this ministry.

Photo: Elektroprivreda RS

In their written answers, they boasted that in the previous year they started the construction of HPP “Buk Bijela” with a value of around 200 million euros, as well as HPP “Bistrica” ​​with a contracted value of around 103 million euros.

“Currently, the HPP “Ulog” near Kalinovik is under construction with a value of about 140 million KM, as well as the wind power plant “Grebak” near Nevesinje, with an investment value of about 162 million KM. The contracting of works for the construction of several solar power plants in Herzegovina in the area of ​​Nevesinje, Bileće and Trebinje is under preparation. We awarded concessions for the construction of the solar power plant “Bileća”, the solar power plant “Nevesinje”, and earlier the concession was granted for the wind power plant “Hrgud” in the municipality of Berkovići. they said in the ministry and added that they are working on awarding concessions for some other projects.

They explained that so far there are about 160 small solar power plants (on land and buildings) in Srpska, and in the coming period this number will increase significantly due to the program to install 50,000 small solar panels on the roofs of households and 500 on the roofs of commercial entities.

“It is important to note that Srpska has adopted all policies and that we have made a big step forward and progress here. On the other hand, the institutions of BiH did not fulfill an important part of their obligations, mostly because the FBiH did not adopt the necessary legislative and legal framework related to the implementation of assumed international obligations. We must bear in mind that the energy transition in itself is an ambitious long-term undertaking, demanding and difficult even for developed countries”. they said in the ministry and added that “I can say with certainty that Republika Srpska is the leader in the region in terms of the number of energy facilities that are currently being built and contracted”.

Unfortunately, until the end of this text, we have not received answers from the federal Ministry of Energy, Mining and Industry to the same questions that we asked the same in Srpska.

The European delegation in BiH told us that BiH is currently in the process of drafting the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP), a document in which the main outlines of BiH’s plans for improving energy efficiency, increasing the production of electricity from renewable sources, reducing emission of greenhouse gases, strengthening of energy interconnection and so on.

“Due to the different situation in the energy sector, it is not possible to compare countries in the region. BiH and Serbia, compared to other countries, depend the most on coal, while Albania, on the other hand, has no thermal power plants at all, which means that their transition processes will also be different.” they told us in the EU.

Answering the question of what BiH needs to fulfill, they said that there are things it needs to do in order for BiH to have more investments, especially in renewable energy sources, to reduce air pollution, to stimulate economic growth and to meet EU requirements.

CAPITAL: Andrijana Pisarević


Source: Capital.ba – Informacija je capital by www.capital.ba.

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