Professors from the University of Belgrade said the government should rely on domestic expertise for strategic decisions in the energy sector. They are convinced that it would secure the greatest possible outcome for society.
The professors conveyed the message at a meeting called Energy and Environmental Impacts, organized by the newly established Committee for Environmental Protection of the University of Belgrade. It was the first in a series of meetings that the panel announced.
Speaking about the current situation and development opportunities in Serbia’s state-owned power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), Miomir Kostić, professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and a member of the committee, said foreigners mustn’t be allowed to call the shots in the country’s electric power system, arguing that past events have demonstrated that they are guided by foreign interests and private groups.
Kostić: We should not uncritically rely on EU policies
Kostić stressed that strategic decisions on the future of coal-fired power plants should not be based uncritically on the European Union’s policies and asserted that they are inconsistent.
The participants at the meeting also discussed hydropower potential, coal reserves, renewable energy sources, natural gas, nuclear energy, and energy efficiency.
Summarizing the conclusions, Ratko Ristić, the chairman of the committee and Vice-rector of the University of Belgrade, said many speakers have stressed that in a situation when the government is making strategic decisions, like now for the energy sector, it should rely on domestic scientific and research capacities and expertise. This way Serbia can utilize the vast potential existing not only at the University of Belgrade, but also at other Serbian universities, he stressed.
Ristić: If included, domestic expertise will ensure a much greater degree of responsibility and a genuine commitment
“If domestic experts are included, you can be assured it would bring far more responsibility and true commitment. I can never expect or believe that some foreign consultant or expert can do it like our people,” said Ristić.
Ristić: Conclusions from the meetings will be sent to decision makers
The Committee for Environmental Protection was established at the beginning of the year, but it took time to appoint all the representatives and complete the complicated registration procedure.
Ristić said they are trying to be open for everyone and that contacts have been made with the ministries of energy and environmental protection. The intention is to establish cooperation with all stakeholders and reach a solution that will benefit society.
Professor Ristić said the next meeting would be dedicated to mining and its impact on the environment followed by gatherings that would cover air pollution, water quality and quantity, and land.
“We will try to create a joint platform from three environmental committees from three very representative Serbian institutions,” committee chief Ratko Ristić said
The committee will choose its members based on scientific and research credentials and it there won’t be any populist rhetoric, in his words.
The committee will try to correlate the results and conclusions from its meetings with the activities of the environmental committees of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SANU) and the Academy of Engineering Sciences of Serbia.
“We will try to create a joint platform from three environmental committees from three very representative Serbian institutions and send it all to state institutions, the government, ministries, and public companies,” said Ristić.
These are the members of the Committee for Environmental Protection:
Ratko Ristić, Chairman and Vice-rector of the University of Belgrade
Dejan Filipović, Faculty of Geography
Dragana Đorđević, scientific advisor from the Institute of Chemistry, Technology and Metallurgy
Miomir Kostić, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
Goran Roglić, Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry
Darko Nadić, Faculty of Political Sciences
Danica Grujičić, Faculty of Medicine
Lazar Kovačević, student at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering.