The EC reminds Serbia that it has committed itself to reducing air pollution

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Director of the Secretariat of the Energy Community (EC) Janez Kopač pointed out that the Energy Community has mandatory legal frameworks, which Serbia must respect, and it includes a directive on large combustion plants and a directive on trade in carbon dioxide emissions. He adds that Serbia had to adopt the National Plan for the Reduction of Sulfur Dioxide Emissions in January this year, with, he says, two years of delay. Serbia and other countries in the Western Balkans should start seriously preparing for the transfer from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources as soon as possible, Kopač said.

The EU’s plan to completely decarbonise by 2050, ie to reduce emissions to zero, and that Europe includes the Western Balkans, which is far behind the EU’s ambitions, and the question is how to reduce harmful gases by then, Kopač said at the conference dedicated to sustainable energy sources, called, “Energy that saves the planet.”

When it comes to the directive on large furnaces, Kopač explains that it then refers to the reduction of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and dust, and states that Serbia has committed itself to that directive. Kopač says that Serbia has since started sending reports on its emissions to the European Environment Agency and that, according to those reports, the biggest problem is with sulfur dioxide in TENT A and B.

– Sulfur dioxide in these power plants exceeds five times the allowed limits – claims Kopač.

Thus, due to problems with sulfur dioxide, as he says, by 2023, Kolubara A3 – boiler 3, 4 and 5, then TPP Morava, Kolubara A – boiler 1 and Kolubara A5 should be closed.

He points out that Serbia would thus be left without more than a thousand megawatts of electricity, which is why, Kopač says, it will have to compensate either by importing or investing in renewable energy sources. He adds that other thermal power plants will have to upgrade their filters, which cost between 70m and 80m euros.

Kopač says that Serbia has not yet committed itself to the directive on trade in carbon dioxide emissions, but that some countries are in the region, and not only in the EU. He states that Montenegro has already introduced a high price per ton of carbon dioxide and that it amounts to EUR 24 per ton. Kopač says that this is an ambitious step of Montenegro and states that other countries will soon have to take that path as well. Until the EU plan, Kopač points out, the countries of the Western Balkans have even less time left and states that it is time for politicians in the region to say that coal is “out”.

Kopač said that Serbia has committed itself to having 27% of energy from renewable sources by 2020, and the data from 2018 says that it managed to achieve 20%. Energy efficiency expert Aleksandar Janjić expressed confidence that Serbia will achieve 27% from sustainable energy sources, because EMS already has requirements for 1,000 megawatts for energy from renewable sources. As the biggest problem of insufficient development of energy from renewable sources, Janjić sees in low-quality projects that come from the private sector. He points out that these projects should be supported by more detailed analyzes and feasibility studies, but also that the help of banks is needed for a better financial construction in financing the project. Janjić states that Serbia already has an energy development strategy until 2025 with a projection until 2030, as well as a National Action Plan for Renewable Sources. He is optimistic that Serbia will achieve good results in terms of switching to renewable energy sources, because, he points out, there are many sources in our country.





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