Serbia cannot and should not give up its coal in the production of electricity

, News Serbia Energy

Serbia cannot and should not give up its coal in the production of electricity, regardless of the obligations imposed on it by the European Union

The latest data from the International Energy Agency IAE confirm that Serbia ranks sixth out of 40 countries with the largest share of coal in electricity production. The first five are Botswana, which gets almost 100 percent of its electricity from coal, Kosovo (which this IAE singles out as a separate country, even though it is part of Serbia), about 95 percent, South Africa about 93 percent, Mongolia 85 percent, India with about 75 percent, and Serbia with about 70 percent. BiH, Poland, Morocco produce less electricity in thermal power plants than us…

As stated in the same IAE report, Kosovo has an international obligation not to build coal-fired thermal power plants, while Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have nothing similar related to coal. At the same time, Serbia is in the group of six countries that have not committed to gradually abandoning coal, nor has a national plan for net zero greenhouse gas emissions been adopted. The same applies to Mongolia, BiH, Zimbabwe, Guatemala…

If all this is known, in the meantime, who was in such a hurry to replace coal with wind or sun?

If at some point Serbia has to switch to the production of green energy, thermal power plants (TE) should not be shut down but conserved, as Germany did, says Milan Jakovljević, assistant director in the Strategy Department of “Elektroprivreda Srbije” (EPS).

– About 300 million euros are needed to complete the investment cycle in surface coal mines. That money was planned in the development strategy, but it was not provided, and if it was, there would be no problem in the production of electricity. In the meantime, the state provided funds from the budget for mining projects, which now need a certain amount of time to be implemented – says Jakovljević.

Serbia should not give up its coal

Serbia, he points out, cannot and should not give up its coal in the production of electricity, regardless of the obligations imposed on it by the European Union. We should not think about closing or shutting down domestic thermal capacities. Germany did not do that either. She conserved her TEs and now, in these times of crisis, she is reactivating them. And they buy coal.

– If we already have to respect European standards, we can at some point conserve the domestic TE as well. The current energy crisis has shown all the disadvantages of a sudden transition to green energy. At this time, it is generally more profitable to buy coal than to import electricity. In order to have total energy security, in addition to oil and gas reserves, it is impossible to exclude coal, which has proven to be the safest energy source in these crisis situations. During the 1990s, Serbia had restrictions, but it was not energy threatened, thanks to its coal – said Jakovljević.

Coal-fired power plants are currently bringing huge profits to the state

That it is not a good idea to close the TPP at this time is also confirmed by the state leaders from Bulgaria. The Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Atanas Pekanov, stated on Nova TV that from a financial point of view, it does not make sense to close coal-fired power plants right now. The European Commission established that Bulgaria must reduce harmful emissions from the energy sector by 40 percent by 2026. It is not written how this should happen – whether by closing the given capacity or seasonal operation of coal-fired thermal power plants.

– In the current situation, many obligations that used to make sense now no longer do. Coal-fired power plants are currently bringing huge profits to the state. Financially, there is no great reason for them to close – believes Pekanov.

By the way, according to IAE data, the countries that produce the least amount of electricity from coal are Pakistan (undertaken an international commitment to no longer build coal-fired thermal power plants) and Guatemala, which, like Serbia, has no commitments on the issue of coal. Thailand and the USA, whose electricity production is from coal at about 20 percent, have an obligation to achieve zero emissions, but not to abandon coal, BiF writes.