Environment

Energy Community warns BiH, Kosovo*, North Macedonia, Serbia over coal plant emissions

Energy-Community-warns-BiH-Kosovo-Macedonia-Serbia-coal-emissions

Photo: EPS

Published

February 5, 2021

Country

Comments

0

Share

Published:

February 5, 2021

Country:

Comments:

0

Share

Four Energy Community contracting parties in the Western Balkans face the possibility of infringement procedures as they failed to bring emissions of SO2, NOx and PM from their coal power plants in compliance with international rules.

The Energy Community Secretariat said it sent warning letters to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, North Macedonia and Serbia to express concerns about the implementation of their national emission reduction plans. NERPs enable compliance with the Large Combustion Plants Directive, setting the limits for sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter for facilities with a capacity of more than 50 MW.

In the case of the four contracting parties in the Western Balkans, almost all of the excessive air pollution in the segment originates in lignite-fired thermal power plants. The secretariat sends warning letters before the potential start of an enforcement procedure, officially called dispute settlement.

Energy sector is major factor in air pollution

The international organization stressed air pollution has been a long-lasting issue in the region. The energy sector is one of the main contributors and it is responsible for high health and environmental costs and many premature deaths, according to the statement.

After sending a warning letter, the Energy Community Secretariat may decide to launch an enforcement procedure

Governments impose overall emission limits from NERPs on all the large combustion units. Some of the plants can be exempted, but then they have to comply with the caps individually. There is also the opt-out mechanism, which limits the number of operating hours of a facility before it has to be reconstructed or closed.

Failing to meet international obligations

The leadership of the Energy Community or EnC has earlier warned of breaches in most of the 16 large combustion plants in Serbia. Last month the Renewables and Environmental Regulatory Institute (RERI) from Belgrade sued Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), the dominant and state-owned coal mining company and power producer, for endangering public health with extreme SO2 emissions from its thermal power plants in Obrenovac and Kostolac.

According to the latest data and official updates, two desulfurization plants that were completed in thermal power plants in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina still aren’t operational, while two other projects are underway in EPS’s TENT division in Obrenovac and another one is planned for Kostolac.

Albania, also an Energy Community contracting party, has no active thermal power plants. As for Montenegro, its Minister for Capital Investments Mladen Bojanić said last week that the government is negotiating a new deadline for shutting down thermal power plant Pljevlja as it has already used up its 20,000 operating hours allowed until the end of 2023.

Some disputes over thermal power plants in the region were initiated over state aid regulations.

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/99 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.
Comments (0)

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Enter Your Comment
Please wait... Please fill in the required fields. There seems to be an error, please refresh the page and try again. Your comment has been sent.

Related Articles

Serbia power utility EPS investments in green energy

Serbia’s power utility EPS announces investments in green energy

15 October 2021 - Serbian state-owned power producer EPS aims to install 240 MW in solar power plants and 100 MW in wind farms by the end of the decade

Marine Le Pen France abolish wind power elected president

Marine Le Pen says France would abolish wind power if she is elected president

15 October 2021 - National Rally's Marine Le Pen vowed to halt subsidies for solar and wind and close wind farms if she wins the French presidential election

Ten member states urge EU nuclear power low carbon energy

Ten member states urge EU to mark nuclear power as low-carbon energy

13 October 2021 - Ten states including Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria want nuclear power to be recognized as low-carbon technology in the EU.

Bulgaria plans phase out coal 2040

Bulgaria developing plans to phase out coal by 2040

12 October 2021 - After the upcoming election, Bulgaria's parliament is set to choose between three scenarios for a coal exit: by 2035, 2038 and 2040