UNEP facilitating Belgrade’s participation in two UN SE4All initiatives: BEA and DES workshops

June 2, 2017

Photo: BGEN
UNEP facilitating Belgrade’s participation in two UN SE4All initiatives: BEA and DES workshops

Workshops on two UN Environment’s projects that will help Serbian capital to improve energy efficiency in buildings and district heating system were held during the Energy Week in Belgrade. Belgrade is the only city in the world that participates in both UNEP initiatives.

The Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) and Global District Energy in Cities (DES) initiatives are part of the UN Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) initiative, and Belgrade is the only city in the world which participates in both initiatives, Sonja Maličević, the representative of the UNEP’s Office in Vienna, said at the workshop on BEA initiative held during the Energy week.

She said that for the 2016-2017 period Belgrade has been selected as one of 6 cities to enter into a so-called deep dive partnership with BEA, adding that Belgrade also joined DES initiative in 2016.

Eric Mackers from the World Resources Institute (WRI), which coordinates BEA, said that the SE4All initiative is focused on achieving the goal of sustainable energy by 2030, while doubling the rate of energy efficiency is core focus of BEA work.

“Building efficiency is important for at least three reasons: the large impact – buildings account for about one third of the demand for energy in the world, the large potential – projection shows that at least one third of energy use can be reduced in buildings by 2050. It is also a cost-effective investment,” he said.

Mackers pointed out that it also provides benefits to people across social, economic and environmental perspective.

He said that there are many barriers on the path but that BEA is focused on developing new partnerships across the public, private and civil society sectors, and understanding how important is to collaborate and find together ways to overcome those barriers.

BEA partnership provides various kinds of support such as support in local action prioritization or assistance of local network experts. It also helps cities and buildings to connect with funding and finance opportunities, provides international collaboration and enables cities to exchange experiences.

“We see ourselves in this global partnership as a kind of intermediary between these big, ambitious global goals and decision makers and those who have to implement those goals”, he said.

What are the cities committed to do

When cities join BEA they commit to implement one enabling policy and one demonstration project and to develop method to track progress toward goals they have set. Based on that they should then develop a system for continuous improvement of energy efficiency, Mackers said.

Jelena Živković, BEA technical advisor, said that in case of Belgrade guidelines for the implementation of procedures in renovation projects are to be adopted as enabling policy.

Miodrag Grujić from the City’s Secretariat for Environmental Protection said that it was decided to conduct a demonstration project in the primary school “Vlada Obradović Kameni” due to its poor energy performance.

Petar Vasiljević from Belgrade district heating company, Beogradske elektrane (BE), said that building efficiency is precondition for developing an efficient and sustainable district heating system. He said that the buildings renovation in Belgrade could deliver savings which equal 1,000 MW of installed capacity.

Energy mapping of Belgrade

At the workshop on energy mapping for district heating, organized to facilitate Belgrade’s participation in District Energy in Cities Initiative or DES,  Romanas Savickas from the UNEP’s Office in Copenhagen said that information are needed to identify potential and make decisions on increasing energy efficiency. He said that city of Amsterdam has the Energy Atlas while London has its Heat Map.

Energy maps contain various data such as energy consumption, type and density of buildings, large energy users, types of heating utilities, he said.

Bojan Bogdanović, Deputy Director of Engineering at Belgrade district heating company Beogradske elektrane, said that Belgrade’s advantage to London and Amsterdam is that the Serbian capital has developed heating network which covers 50 percent of inhabitants and  city’s center.

Bogdanović also announced a “very ambitious project” on energy mapping of Belgrade.

He said that Beogradske elektrane plans to work with the UNEP on developing and implementing several of its goals, such as a study on connecting heating areas.