‘Tis the season to look back, and Balkan Green Energy News brings you the most significant events, news, and expert views that both marked 2018 and piqued the interest of our English-language readers.
As you wonder whether your favorite news, interviews, op-eds or project presentations from the entire Balkan region made it to our Top 10 Most Read in 2018, our small yet hard-working team would like to thank you for your trust and loyalty and regularly keeping up to date with our posts.
Our dedication and resolve to keep our reporting on the development of sustainable energy in the region, climate change, the environment, and urban mobility objective, professional, and free of charge – and your support, clicks, and interactions with our integrated communication platform have pushed Balkan Green Energy News to the number-one spot in the region among the most popular portals specializing in sustainable energy and related topics.
In 2019, we will continue to strive to be your number-one choice for information about topics dear to us all. In the meantime, we wish you a happy, greener, and sustainable 2019!
For information about the top 10 most read articles in the Serbian language, follow the link.
1 – The controversy that is small hydropower plants
“Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink,” wrote Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the late 1700s. He may as well have peeked into the collective fear of people across the Balkans that they may lose access to drinking water and sources of irrigation, natural beauty, and some protected species over small hydropower plants that have sprung up like mushrooms since governments in the region adopted feed-in tariffs.
2 – The best Serbia has to offer
We see them not only in Serbia – young and exceptionally bright – but in Serbia, and other countries in the region, we unfortunately also often see them leave. Not necessarily for the money, but for “the work done right,” as one of them once told us. Meet H-Bridges, developing devices for the future.
3 – China’s involvement in the Balkan coal sector and implications for the EU
Our readers voraciously read the op-ed about China’s impact on coal phase-out plans in the region and why the EU should care, written by Igor Kalaba, Energy Policy Coordinator for South East Europe, CAN Europe.
4 – Serbia’s largest company and energy producer needs to keep profits to step up investments
One of our benchmark interviews this year was with professor Branko Kovačević, who serves as supervisory board chairman at Serbian power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) and is one of the giants of Serbia’s energy sector. Coal, again, was the dominant issue.
5 – The air we breathe
Whether the reason is the lack of organized data in general or the overall concern over the poor air quality in the region, our rendering of the air section of the Serbian Environmental Protection Agency’s (SEPA) report for 2017 made it to our Top 10 this year.
6 – #BeatPlasticPollution
The Serbian capital Belgrade has taken steps to curb the use of plastic bags this year. The fact that it adopted the decision banning the sale of plastic shopping bags from January 1, 2020 seems to have caught the international eye.
7 – GIZ ORF-EE co-finances 3rd Energy Community Summer School
The invitation to apply for the third Energy Community Summer School, which took place in Split, Croatia from August 25 to September 1, drew strong interest from students across the region. The school is co-financed by the GIZ Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Energy Efficiency (ORF-EE) and the Višegrad Fund.
8 – Greece’s Tilos Island seeks to become 100% green
Dimitris Zafirakis, energy engineer and project coordinator for the Tilos H2020 Project, spoke in an interview with Balkan Green Energy News about the ambition of Tilos island in a quiet corner of the Aegean to become 100% green. The Greek Tilos project was the double winner of the EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) Awards 2017.
9 – Montenegro continues to advance on its EU path, opens chapter 27
Montenegro has opened chapter 27 of EU membership negotiations, which deals with the environment and climate change. To provisionally close the most demanding and expensive chapter of EU accession talks, Montenegro will have to meet benchmarks concerning matters from air quality to the water sector and the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
10 – Macedonia preparing to introduce premiums for solar, wind projects
The issue of feed-in tariffs and whether countries in the region should switch to renewables auctions has been much debated of late, as Serbia decided to extend the regime by a year, with Albania holding the first-ever renewable energy support auction among the contracting partices of the Energy Community, and Macedonia getting ready to introduce premiums for solar and wind energy projects.