Serbia’s capital city will introduce the measures from the strategy for district heating next year, right after it is adopted, according to Zoran Radojičić. Belgrade will thus continue to cut the use of polluting fuel, the mayor noted. In his words, carried by the local authority’s website, in 2019 its management established “firm foundations” of energy efficiency and within the efforts it is working on air quality by shutting down individual heating furnaces.
The projects are “among those with the highest priority,” Radojičić stressed and asserted that in parallel the consumption of energy would fall. He also underscored that the production of heat in the city’s future waste incinerator in Vinča is planned only from the collected materials that cannot be recycled.
Homebuilding used to be about the quantity, at the expense of energy efficiency
Belgrade’s chief explained most of the structures were made in the 1950s and 1960s and that the goal used to be to build as many homes as possible, at the expense of energy efficiency. Today, he said, the bill is due and much more energy is used for the heating of homes than is necessary.
New facade with minimal expenses
“This is why it is important that we systematically improve the energy efficiency in buildings with particular measures, projects and decisions as well as raise the citizens’ awareness of the subject. We have to be aware of the problems we have, but it is even more important to offer solutions. The proof that Belgrade seriously started solving the problem is also in the fact that the City Assembly passed an amendment on a decision enabling the city’s municipalities to subsidize the refurbishment of facades and the spending for the maintenance of private buildings with a maximum of 90% of funds, while owners will be obligated to secure the remaining 10%. It means we have opened the possibility for every building in Belgrade to advance its energy efficiency,” Radojičić stated.
He called on maintenance managers in residential buildings to motivate apartment owners to make use of the possibility. A minimal investment will lead to warmer homes, and they will save both energy and money, he added.
Project for Vinča landfill, incinerator is among most important
The mayor spoke recently, while opening a conference named Renewable Energy Sources in District Heating and Cooling Systems, about the preparation of the Green City Action Plan and a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan, as well as its upcoming candidacy for the European Green Capital Award.
Radojičić said that, in order to boost energy efficiency, big infrastructural projects and changes to the way of thinking are necessary and that Vinča, located at the edge of the city’s territory, is one of the most significant endeavors.
The system for the collection of separated waste and recycling is being established, Radojičić notes
“The Vinča landfill is above all an environmental and health issue, but in our project it is seen as a resource from which heating energy will be produced out of the collected waste that cannot be recycled. The Vinča project will be preceded by the introduction of recycling stations in every municipality in Belgrade and the establishment of a system for the collection of separated waste and recycling, so only nonrenewable sources will be used in the future incinerator,” he claimed and added it is expected to be completed in 2022.
Hot water for heating coming from thermal power plant
The envisaged district heating pipeline from Obrenovac, a town in Belgrade territory, is undergoing a feasibility study while the technical documentation is also being prepared, the mayor noted. Hot water, the byproduct from the local thermal power plant, will be collected and used for heating and that way substitute the use of other types of fuel, he said.
He stressed the significance of the project for thermal rehabilitation of public buildings amid improving energy efficiency in the city of Belgrade. The plan is to refurbish the buildings of the emergency medical service, the Students’ Polyclinic, its inpatient block and the City Library, the mayor asserted and added the design and technical documentation is being produced together with the tender files.
After 1,200 heating furnaces on coal and fuel oil have been shut down, only 38 remain
“It is very important to reconstruct these significant structures, but the savings we will achieve are also notable. After the implementation of energy efficiency measures, there will be significant savings in heating, electrical energy and lowering the emissions of carbon dioxide. It must be added that Belgrade is working intensively together with [district heating public utility] Beogradske elektrane on shutting down heating furnaces,” Radojičić said.
He pointed out that 1,200 furnaces on coal and fuel oil have been phased out so far, leaving only 38 in Belgrade territory. In his words, it is estimated to have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by around 500,000 tons per year.
“With these projects, citizens and the city authorities contribute jointly to the goal which we took the responsibility for last year, when I signed the Covenant of Mayors for climate and energy, to lower the level of carbon dioxide by 40% by 2030,” Radojičić said.