The security of our country lies in energy security

Photo: Energy portal

Participant of the panel discussion “Energy Transition of Serbia in the Light of New Challenges”, Jovanka Atanacković, State Secretary of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, pointed out at the very beginning of the panel that the energy transition for Serbia represents energy security, but that in parallel with that, care must be taken of to protect the environment, which is why the transition must first of all be fair.

“Energy security is equivalent to state security, which has been proven true today and everyone is aware of that, even those who were skeptical,” said Atanacković.

She points out that investing in renewable energy sources is no longer a question, but a necessity. According to her, thermal power plants in Serbia are between 30 and 70 years old and their working life has passed, and the quality of coal is an additional problem.

“We have a total of 8.4 gigawatts of installed capacity for electricity production, of which 4.4 gigawatts go to thermal power plants. Due to the quality of coal, we lose 400 megawatts of these installed capacities per day, that is, over one gigawatt per year, which is the same as if we did not have those 4.4 gigawatts of thermal power plants. By comparison, it is as if the two largest TENT blocks B1 and B2 do not exist. The quality of coal is so bad and we should be aware of that,” Atanacković said.

The secretary said that the thermal power plants must remain in circulation for the next decades, but with a gradual shutdown, and in order for this to be implemented, Serbia must have a clear plan on how and with what to replace the thermal power plants. It is important that everyone works on this, both the Government and Ministries, as well as citizens, said the State Secretary.

Photo illustration: Pixabay (ustalij_pony)

“The energy strategy until 2025, which also predicted the shutdown of thermal power plants, is still current. The plan is to complete what was planned by 2030. As for the thermal power plants, the Kolubara A power plant, then Morava, Kostolac A1 and A2 and TENT A1 and A2 are in question. All these blocks should stop operating from 2023 to 2028,” said Atanacković.

Nenad Jovanović, advisor for energy at the company LDK Consultants, pointed out that decarbonization in Serbia did not start now, but the trend of declining electricity production from thermal power plants has existed since 2012, when it was the largest production.

“The biggest drop was in 2021, when thermal power plants participated with only 60 percent of electricity production,” Jovanović said.

Željko Marković, an energy expert, said that in addition to the investment of the Electric Power Company of Serbia in the construction of renewable energy sources, there must also be a private initiative, i.e. private capital, but that buyers-consumers should also take a more active role. It is important that all three segments develop.

Jovanka Atanacković said that the goal is to reduce harmful CO2 emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.

“We want about 41 percent of the total gross final consumption to be made up of renewable energy sources. We are not talking only about electricity, but also about heat and traffic, so everything that makes up our gross financial consumption. In addition to all that, we want to improve the energy efficiency by a little more than 25 percent in the final consumption,” said Jovanka Atanacković.

She added that the plan is to build new reversible hydropower plants, and pointed out that she believes that the first phase of Đerdap 3 and Bistrica will be on the system by 2030.

Photo illustration: Pixabay

When it comes to the energy crisis and Serbia’s plans for the upcoming winter, the state secretary reminds that Serbia has a gas procurement contract with Russian partners, which will give us about two billion cubic meters per year. He adds that we need another billion cubic meters in the worst period of winter, which is why we will have to work on securing an additional amount of gas.

Atanacković says that Serbia has begun the construction of another gas pipeline that should be completed in 2023 and to enable us to diversify, that is, the possibility of different suppliers, so that we can get gas from other suppliers through that pipeline.

She points out that the most important measure for the energy crisis, when it comes to the winter season, is savings.

“The Ministry of Mining and Energy has given recommendations for savings for the economy and citizens, as well as for the state and public sector. We asked local governments and public companies to submit their savings plans. About 150 plans have arrived,” said the state secretary.

She says that citizens are stimulated to save, through discounts they will get on lunches if they save. With this, our country opted for a policy that is very good, because other countries started to punish, concluded Atanacković.

Katarina Vuinac


Source: Energy Portal of Serbia by www.energetskiportal.rs.

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