Renewables

Đokić: Republic of Srpska to build 1,200 MW of new energy facilities by 2030

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Photo: Balkan Green Energy News

Published

May 13, 2024

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Published:

May 13, 2024

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The Republic of Srpska plans to build and put into operation 1,200 MW of new energy facilities by 2030, according to its Minister of Energy and Mining Petar Đokić. He also said that the Bileća solar power plant has been completed.

In the last few years, the Republic of Srpska has stepped up its activities in the energy sector in line with European standards, Đokić told reporters ahead of the opening of Belgrade Energy Forum 2024.

A number of investment projects are under way, with contracts awarded for 1,719 MW of new energy facilities, of which 680 MW will be built by state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) and the rest by private investors and partners from Europe and beyond, he said. The Republic of Srpska is one of the two political entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other one is called the Federation of BiH.

He said that energy facilities are being built in several locations. Đokić highlighted the hydropower cascade on the Bistrica river of 32 MW, the 60 MW Bileća solar power plant, which has already been completed, and a joint project of Serbia and the Republic of Srpska, the Buk Bijela hydropower plant.

He said he hopes that the joint efforts with his fellow ministers from Serbia and Montenegro would help find solutions to the current standstill in the implementation of the HPP Buk Bijela project, adding that this issue will be a test for the future regional cooperation.

The Republic of Srpska has been actively implementing the decarbonization process, and its energy mix is expected to change to a great extent with the construction of the planned facilities by 2030, he said, noting that currently 60% of its energy comes from coal, and the rest from renewable sources.

By 2030, at least 60% of energy, or even more, will be sourced from renewables, according to Đokić.

Đokić also recalled that the Republic of Srpska has completed a flue gas desulfurization facility at the Ugljevik thermal power plant, adding that it had threatened to become one of the biggest European polluters.

He said energy projects in Bosnia and Herzegovina receive limited financial support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the World Bank, especially the projects in the Republic of Srpska. This, as he said, is an absolutely unnecessary slowdown, which is due to the political perception of the Republic of Srpska or BiH.

“Our policy is one of cooperation, peace, good neighborly relations, and stability,” he said.

The Republic of Srpska is firmly resolved to deal with open issues in the region – it wants to solve the issue of Lake Bileća and compensation for submerged land, and to improve interconnections with Montenegro and Serbia.

When hydrological conditions are favorable, the Republic of Srpska exports certain amounts of energy, he said, adding that domestic consumption is also on the rise.

Mujović: Thermal power plant Pljevlja is the biggest burden

Sasa-Mujovic

Photo: Minister of Energy and Mining of Montenegro Saša Mujović

Montenegrin Minister of Energy and Mining Saša Mujović said that coal-fired thermal power plant Pljevlja is one of Montenegro’s two biggest burdens.

Ahead of the opening of Belgrade Energy Forum 2024, Mujović told reporters that Montenegro has hydropower, wind, and solar potentials, and that it would develop 200 MW of new electricity generation capacity in the next two years.

As part of its national energy and climate plan, Montenegro’s priority is to reduce emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, as well as to increase the production of energy from renewable sources.

“Pljevlja is a problem because it is our most important energy resource. Being left without 40% of electricity is anything but easy, but we have to work in that direction and we have an obligation to find an adequate replacement,” said Mujović, adding that the other burden is the use of coal for heating purposes.

He recalled that work is under way on HPP Pljevlja’s ecological reconstruction, which will be completed in 2025. Once it is finished, the situation will be much better and the emissions of harmful gases will be more acceptable, he said.

However, the problem is how to convince citizens to abandon coal as a heating fuel, since people in Montenegro, especially in the north, believe that “there is no quality heating without wood and coal,” according to him.

That is why the state needs to incentivize measures to improve energy efficiency, which is a huge opportunity, he added. A special program aimed at improving energy efficiency has been launched, primarily to encourage greater use of modern heating and cooling devices.

Western Balkan countries need support from European partners

Mujović said that the countries of the Western Balkan region share the same goals, interests and obligations towards the European Union and that they should cooperate, learn from the experience of others, and act together in their relations with the Energy Community and European partners in order to gain their support.

He pointed out that the Government of Montenegro, or the governments of other countries in the region, cannot fully implement the energy transition on their own.

“We need support from European partners,” he stressed.

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