Environmentalists point out that coal is a short-term measure for Montenegro

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Due to the global energy crisis, many countries are returning to coal in order to maintain energy stability, but returning to fossil fuels must not be a long-term strategy, according to the NGO Eco-team. As they emphasize, the National Climate and Energy Plan must be adopted without delay, because we need clear steps for the development of energy in Montenegro.

– We are aware that the political crisis significantly affects and affects the slowing down and delay of all processes, so for more than a year there has been no progress when it comes to the development of the most important strategic document in the field of climate and energy – the National Plan for Climate and Energy, and therefore no clear steps for energy development in Montenegro. It is of particular importance to ensure intersectoral dialogue and to make important strategic decisions related to the future of the energy sector in Montenegro as soon as possible – said Diana Milev Čavor, coordinator of the energy and climate program at the NGO Eco-team.

As stated in the statement, it is clear that some urgent measures for fossil fuels are necessary to ensure sufficient energy this winter, but this must not be a sustainable long-term strategy, either from an economic or climate perspective.

– Rapid construction of new infrastructure for renewable energy sources, increase in energy efficiency and energy saving remains the only long-term strategy for getting out of the energy crisis – stated Milev Čavor.

As he adds, the governments of the EU countries, due to the energy crisis, are simply forced to restart some of their coal-fired thermal power plants, which had previously stopped working, and extend their working life. However, the public does not talk enough about the fact that the EU countries do not give up on the previously defined dates for abandoning coal. The only exception is Hungary, which does not have a clear strategy when it comes to starting up old thermal power plants and abandoning coal. On the other hand, it is very important to emphasize that in many European countries investment in renewable energy sources is significantly increasing and accelerating.

Coal mines, as he explains, are currently operating with high profits thanks to high coal prices, however, new investments in this sector in terms of new mines are minimal, while the EU recorded a record increase in wind and solar compared to last year due to many times cheaper renewable energy source.

Globally, renewables accounted for 27% of electricity production in 2020, according to the International Energy Agency. The agency predicts that this share will increase to 33% by 2025, which means that renewable energy sources would surpass coal as the world’s largest source of electricity for the first time. Moreover, for the first time in history, the International Energy Agency’s global market outlook does not include a scenario that predicts continued and long-term growth of fossil fuels, including natural gas.

– Changes in the sense of energy transition cannot happen quickly, but it must be clear to us that as soon as possible we start thinking in a way that coal is still a limited resource and that we cannot think about coal as an energy source on which the energy sector will be based in the future, we will also solve potential problems that we may encounter in the near future. Bringing Montenegro into the context of the energy transition, there must be a vision and a clear plan when it comes to the development of the electrical energy sector – concludes Milev Čavor, local media reports.