Environment

One more step to definitely ban small hydropower plants in FBiH

Federation Bosnia Herzegovina one last step ban small hydropower plants

Photo: Atharva Tulsi on Unsplash

Published

June 8, 2022

Comments

0

Share

Published:

June 8, 2022

Comments:

0

Share

The House of Peoples of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina must ban the construction of small hydropower plants before the elections or the initiative may fail, environmental activist Anes Podić said.

The lower chamber of the Parliament of the Federation of BiH voted almost unanimously for the amendments to the Law on Electricity.  With 65 members in favor, no one against and just one abstained, the House of Representatives enabled the ban on the construction of small hydropower plants with up to 10 MW in capacity.

The only exception is for the installations on vertical drinking water supply pipes. The bill was passed to the House of Peoples for one last vote that could make the initiative of thousands of environmentalists and citizens a reality.

On the other hand, the law would enable concessionaires that have filed for energy permits to complete the documentation within three years, which means hundreds of small hydropower plants could still be built in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In parallel, environmentalists are calling on the authorities to impose a moratorium.

Ban proposal has been sitting in Parliament of FBiH for two years

The decade-long struggle was formally articulated on the highest level in June 2020. That’s when the House of Representatives adopted a declaration on the protection of rivers and initiated a review of existing permits and concessions for small hydropower plants and ongoing projects.

The bill still enables concessionaires to complete the documentation within three years

FBiH is the larger of the two entities making up BiH and the other one is the Republic of Srpska. Its parliament adopted the declaration in February 2021 but the process has been stuck since.

However, some progress has been registered in the meantime. For instance, a number of contracts have been terminated.

Our rivers have been destroyed

“The attack on our rivers hasn’t stopped at all,” Anes Podić from the Coalition for the Protection of Rivers in BiH told legislators in Sarajevo before the latest vote and pointed to several ongoing projects and ones under construction. He warned that the upper house must adopt the bill before the October 2 election or that otherwise it could drag on for years to come.

The coalition was part of a group of nongovernmental organizations that issued the Declaration on the Protection of the Western Balkans Rivers in 2019. The bill in the Parliament of FBiH includes the recommendations from the document.

Podić: Small hydropower plants are the result of the intention to satisfy investors

“The construction of small hydropower plants led to the exact opposite of what the law envisages. Our rivers and their exceptionally valuable wildlife have been destroyed. With regard to small hydropower plants and the generation of electricity, it is important to say that they are not the result of any strategic needs for electricity, but primarily the intention to satisfy the investors who made them an excellent business,” Podić stressed.

He pointed to data that showed a total of 116 small hydroelectric units produced 433 MWh last year in BiH or 2.5% of the country’s power output. According to Podić, their combined projected result, based on which they got permits, is 710 MWh. He underscored that hydrological conditions were exceptionally favorable in 2021.

Turning to the hundreds of projects that remain, he claimed small hydropower plants already occupy the most appropriate locations in terms of production, and that further plans would leave no creek in BiH without such a facility.

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

Voltalia breaks ground Albania biggest solar park Western Balkans Karavasta

Voltalia breaks ground in Albania for biggest solar park in Western Balkans

01 July 2022 - The site for the Karavasta solar park spans 196 hectares in Fier county in Albania's west. The planned capacity is 140 MW.

net-loss-eps-q1

Serbia’s power utility EPS posts Q1 net loss of EUR 254 million

30 June 2022 - The state-owned power utility is blaming the poor result on a drop in output, electricity imports, and capped prices for end-consumers

EU agrees fossil fuel car ban as climate package talks are starting

EU agrees fossil fuel car ban as climate package talks are starting

29 June 2022 - The Council of the EU and European Parliament are set for talks on the Fit-for-55 package. Both agree new combustion engines should be banned by 2035.

G7 reverses climate policy support LNG gas nuclear power

G7 reverses climate policy with support for LNG, gas, nuclear power

29 June 2022 - The G7 reaffirmed its commitment to climate goals, but it backed the deployment of gas, particularly LNG, and of nuclear power