Belgrade Energy Forum 2023, the Balkan Green Energy News portal’s new conference format, is just over two weeks away. The guests at the two-day conference will be able to hear from more than 50 leading experts, politicians and businesspeople that are spearheading the energy transition in the region of Southeastern Europe. The great interest in the energy conference of the year, which is what many call BEF 2023, was confirmed by a record response from sponsors and institutional partners. To secure your spot, register by April 30.
With over 400 participants including ministers of energy and representatives of governments from the region and Europe, EU institutions, the leading energy associations and more than 150 companies, Belgrade Energy Forum 2023 (BEF 2023) will be the meeting point for the leaders of Southeastern Europe’s energy transition on May 8 and 9.
The updated list of speakers is on the BEF 2023 conference website.
Energy Community Secretariat Director Artur Lorkowski, Lafarge Serbia’s Chief Executive Officer Dimitrije Knjeginjić and Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia Dubravka Đedović will officially open the conference.
Right after the official opening, the first panel should provide insight, amid an era of geopolitical turbulence and energy crisis, into the strategies of the countries in the SEE region regarding the solutions for the crisis. The panel will consist of Minister of Energy and Mining of the Republic of Srpska Petar Đokić, CEO of WindEurope Giles Dickson, State Counselor in the Government of Romania George Agafiței, Special Adviser on Energy and Climate to the President of Croatia Julije Domac, Energy Advisor to the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Viktor Andonov, and Anže Predovnik, Director of ADEX Group, the operator of the first regional electricity exchange, which was recently established.
Partnership with energy transition leaders – institutions and companies
The first Belgrade Energy Forum 2023 will gather a large number of institutions, organizations and companies from the region, Europe and the world that recognized the opportunity in the conference to present their results but also to announce strategies, new projects and investments in the energy sector that are significant for decarbonization and achieving climate neutrality goals, as well as support for the countries of the region to become aligned with the Green Agenda requirements.
The Forum’s institutional partners are the Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Energy Community Secretariat, WindEurope, SEEPEX, ADEX Group, Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Serbia, Nordic Business Alliance, Slovenian Business Club and Serbio.
We already announced in the previous article that leading renewable energy investors in the region are coming to the conference. Among them are WV-International in partnership with Emergy from Norway, CWP Global, Slovenian Interenergo and ECOwind, a subsidiary of BayWa Group from Germany.
Well-known French company Akuo Energy is also one of the conference’s sponsors. The company owns the Ogorje wind park in Croatia and Krnovo, Montenegro’s first wind power plant. It is actively developing new wind projects in Serbia and Croatia, where Akuo is also preparing to install small and large solar farm projects. Its biggest photovoltaic endeavor has strategic investment status in North Macedonia.
At the conference, Lafarge will open the topic of the upcoming cross-border CO2 tax for energy-intensive companies
Lafarge Serbia, part of Holcim Group, is known in Serbia for its cement plant in Beočin. It is participating in the conference as a platinum sponsor. The company will be represented by CEO Dimitrije Knjeginjić, who will speak at the opening ceremony. Knjeginjić will also participate in the panel Winning corporate strategies to reach net zero, where he will speak about how his company, which is energy intensive, is adapting its operations with low-carbon development requirements, but also about what the government needs to do to make it easier for such companies to prepare for the introduction of the CO2 cross-border tax (CBAM – Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism), which comes into force on January 1, 2026. The company’s Geocycle Manager Marko Muhadinović will participate in the conference as well.
Sustainable energy technologies and smart solutions
Among the tech companies that are coming to the conference is Huawei Technologies, a Chinese multinational technological corporation headquartered in Shenzhen. The company is the gold sponsor of a panel that spurred great interest among the conference participants. It is a panel that will be moderated by Elena Boskov Kovacs and the theme of the discussion will be flexibility and digitalization for the emerging segment of decentralized electricity generation and consumption. The company is making decisive steps in the digitalization of electricity systems.
In parallel to the accelerated transition from centralized to decentralized production and consumption, given the increasing number of power plants that use renewable energy sources, as well as prosumers, electric vehicles and electricity storage systems, there is a growing need to integrate the said sources into the system to secure balancing for the system and improve its reliability in real time.
Siemens Energy AG, created as a separate company in 2020 within the great reorganization of Siemens, and an almost 100% owner of wind turbine manufacturer Siemens Gamesa, is attending a panel that will cover infrastructure, technologies and financing as the three pillars for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. The company’s otherwise impressively diverse technology portfolio was complemented by a heat pump in its MVV heat and power plant in Mannheim where it generates energy using water from the Rhein.
Non-energy players are important for sustainability and energy’s big picture
Very interesting participants in this year’s conference come from consulting and the civil sector. PwC is a bronze sponsor and participant in the second panel – on the transformation of power utilities. The company will be represented by its Energy, Utilities & Resources Consulting Leader Mislav Slade – Šilović.
Telecommunications company A1 Serbia has pleasantly surprised everyone with its program to decarbonize its base stations by building solar power plants. At a recent annual meeting with stakeholders, A1 Telekom Austria Group confirmed its determination to continue to invest in the business segments that will enable it to fully implement the environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) standards.
United States–based organization The Nature Conservancy is a friend of the conference. It is conducting several important projects in the SEE region aimed at supporting the promotion of renewable energy sources but in line with sustainable development principles.
TU Wien or the Vienna University of Technology is also an exhibitor at this year’s conference. TUW will present a specialized postgraduate renewable energy study program for those who want to work and get additional education. Another program is for environmental technology, intended for candidates who only want to study. The university said its representatives would use the opportunity to present sponsored scholarships at the conference.
Given that the conference will be held just days after the May 1 holiday, registration is open until April 30. Don’t miss the energy conference of the year and secure your spot in time.