The Government of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) is preparing a set of regulatory amendments in order to prevent the adverse impact of small hydropower plants on the environment, including the abolishment of feed-in tariffs for these facilities as the most important measure.
Representatives of the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of Bosnia and Herzegovina are also participating in the preparation of the regulatory changes.
According to the federal government website, Prime Minister Fadil Novalić has held a meeting with Environment and Tourism Minister Edita Đapo, Energy, Mining and Industry Minister Nermin Džindić, and Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry Minister Šemsudin Dedić to discuss short-term measures and activities to be implemented on the basis of an earlier conclusion of the House of Representatives of the FBiH to ban the construction of small hydropower plants, as well as on the basis of a request by the representatives of the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers of BiH.
The reason for amending the regulations is the FBiH parliament’s decision to ban the construction of SHPPs
In June, the FBiH House of Representatives adopted a declaration on the protection of rivers in BiH, as well as a conclusion to ban small hydropower plants, and gave the government three months to propose changes needed to implement these decisions.
One of the announced measures from the meeting refers to feed-in tariffs for small hydropower plants.
From January 1, 2021, incentives for small hydropower plants will no longer be granted, and the funds planned for them will be diverted to other renewable energy sources, the FBiH government said.
Improving the control of environmental licensing and environmental flows
Participants in the meeting also agreed on amending several rulebooks.
The Ministry of the Environment and Tourism is preparing amendments to the rulebook on plants and facilities which can be built and put into operation only if they have an environmental permit. Under the planned amendments, the ministry will take over the issuance of these permits for facilities with an installed capacity of more than 150 kW.
Another document to be changed is the rulebook onthe establishment and work of expert commissions for the evaluation of environmental impact assessment studies in the procedure of issuing environmental permits for hydropower plants.
Also, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Management and Forestry has started amending the rulebook on environmental flows, which will specify the method for measuring the environmental flow required for the operation of a small hydropower plant.
The goal is to measure environmental flows in real time and to send data to the water agencies so that they can react in case a power plant does not comply with the required environmental flow, according to the FBiH government.