Big expectations from hydro power projects on Lim river, lack of understanding as main challenge

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Public opinion of city of Priboj community is divided, some looking at environmental challenges coming from new hydro power plants and economical gains which may come from new investment projects.

According to the Priboj Mayor Mr.Lazar Rvovic, of course that environmental issues has to be address in proper way but still local economic development may be influenced positively with new hydro power plants. This projects would attract investments into community and create new jobs, stated the Mayor to Serbia Energy Magazine.

Environmental NGOs and community leaders from different community associations have fear that hydro plants will endanger the ecology system of the city, micro climate, air and water system would be changed as well as the air humidity which could lead to different physical conditions like asthma. The construction would also endanger the tourism offer, the famous Lim river rafting races and would not create any new jobs.

Lazar Rvovic, the mayor of Priboj, member of SNS party, clearly underlines that such estimations are premature as environmental impact feasibility investigations are yet to be done. During public hearing the local municipality officials faced severe pressure, still local parliament decided to adopt the detail regulation plan for one hydro plant.

Mayor of Priboj underlined that hydro plants will bring millions of euros into local community economy, create new jobs, the percentage from power generation and electricity sales. Investor will have the obligation to engage local labor force during construction.

Priboj city is just one of the locations in Serbia for hydro power plants construction. Many other communities are facing similar challenges and similar opportunities, the question is do all sides know exactly what are the pro/s and contra/s.

According to one Public Affairs & Public Relations, expert specialized in renewable energy projects development in the region, we spoke during the investigation of challenges in green energy development in Balkans, we understood that rooth cause of the problem is bad or weak strategy in communications. For centuries, in all segments and areas of social or business life, the communication or lack of it was always the major problem in any new venture or project in the Balkans. Green energy projects development, with all its known potentials, still lack proper approach in communicating the gains and challenges, both to investors and local communities. The developers are starting their PR campaign too late, in most of the case. Proactive approaches in communicating green projects are of essential importance, says Primus GBS PR consultant. Development and communication simply are in synergy in many business development ventures, interdependency and multidisciplinary approach is main driver, and wide stakeholder matrix as key activity field. Investors cant rely only on centralized government institutions, that