Regional Center for Sustainable Energy Transition – RESET signed an agreement with the Municipality of Lopare on cooperation in the implementation of the energy transition. It is the first such deal in Bosnia and Herzegovina and probably the entire Western Balkans.
The agreement on cooperation in the implementation of the energy transition envisages activities to increase the use of solar energy, introduce energy communities and develop the concept of citizen energy. It was signed by Rado Savić, head of the Municipality of Lopare, and Damir Miljević, a member of the Management Board of RESET.
Miljević told Balkan Green Energy News it is the first such agreement signed by RESET and that, as far as he knows, the first of its kind in BiH.
Preparations for agreements with two other municipalities are in the final phase
The agreement isn’t for a specific project, but joint long-term work on creating conditions for particular endeavors and the involvement of local stakeholders in the energy transition, Miljević said, adding that the preparations for signing similar agreements with the municipalities of Živinice and Gračanica are in the final phase.
According to Lopare Mayor Rado Savić, the local authority wants to start solar power projects in time. Initially, it will look at all public buildings for possibilities for installing photovoltaic panels and then prepare an action plan to enable the start of works, he added.
The municipality intends to prepare incentives for households and companies
The municipality also plans to develop incentive schemes for firms and households for installing solar panels.
Main activities are mapping, action plan and citizen energy
The agreement consists of three main parts. The first is for mapping Lopare’s solar potential, primarily roofs on public buildings and municipal-owned land, excluding agricultural land. All houses and multi-apartment buildings will also be included.
The goal is to determine possible bottlenecks, above all in the distribution and transmission networks, and to enable citizens to obtain all important information.
Mapping is a prerequisite for switching from coal to heat pumps
Solar mapping is a prerequisite for developing a program for installing heat pumps in public and private buildings that use coal for heating.
The second part of the deal is to produce an implementation action plan for the period 2024-2026 based on the mapping results. It would define projects for public buildings and a model for energy communities.
The plan is to develop the concept of citizen energy
The third part refers to the development and implementation of support, promotion and education schemes, and the implementation of projects based on the concept of citizen energy – production for self-consumption, prosumers and energy communities.
The Republic of Srpska, in which Lopare is located, has not yet passed bylaws that would enable the introduction of prosumers, and there are no incentives for citizen energy, Miljević noted.
Miljević: The success of the cooperation will depend on the introduction of innovative support and financing models
Moreover, the Municipality of Lopare doesn’t have too much room in its budget for funding the said activities.
Implementation will primarily depend on joint efforts and the ability to promote and introduce innovative models of support and financing, said Miljević.