Serbia: Serbian power plants and EU environmental directives, the status report

17. September 2013. / News Serbia Energy

Power Plants in Serbia are the largest single source of sulfur dioxide emissions in Europe and are among the first few sources of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in Europe”, warns a study of the European Movement in Serbia (EPuS) entitled “Serbia accession to the EU – the importance of material conditions in the energy sector. “”

“These emissions affect not only Serbian people and economy, but also population and economy of the neighboring states, and also have impact in several states members of the European Union”, states in the EPuS announcement.

It is pointed out alarming date that Serbia is country with the biggest mortality rate because of lungs cancer in Europe, while the most states reduced mortality of this cause.

Material conditions from the energy sector needed for Serbian accession to EU are least known and analyzed aspect.  These conditions are defined by the signed contacts with EU and other states candidates for the EU membership. According to this, it is necessary to bring well-coordinated local regulations by which it would be operationally enacted  the way for achieving these material conditions to directorate rationally limited local resources”, it is stated in the report.

It is pointed out that in the European Commission report sent to the European Parliament on contact of energy community creating in March 2011, it is noted delay in the material conditions implementation from this contract, and that it is required focus on implementation and affirmation of the European Commission obligation in order to regulate accession process progress by these obligations realization, and also to discuss fulfillment of these obligations in the annual reports on the accession process progress.

By contract on energy community of South Eastern Europe, which was signed 2005, and until today has not been applied, are predicted the obligations of the state contractors to adjust their legislation and energy infrastructure to the EU regulation within defined deadlines.

Report points out that the rationalism in the contract obligations fulfillment can be seen in the improvement context of basic human rights achievement, environment quality improvement, inclusion in the common EU market, security supply and economy development conditions improvement.

” Recently done investigation of one non-governmental organizations group (HEAL) shows that Serbia endure annually 3 billion EUR of additional costs for the health protection due to the harmful matters emission from the huge energetic objects that burn coal. Behind this number it is hidden massive life and health endangering of Serbian population. Besides, part of this pollution presents over border pollution and affects population life and health in the neighboring states, including some EU members states “, it is pointed out in the EPuS report.

Taking into opinion that the health protection costs are bigger than the value of produced and sold electricity, coal and heat, it is indicated to reduce impacts on the life and health as soon as possible, according to already signed and ratified contract.

“In the environmental area the Contract on energy community predicted directive application on the big furnaces on the existing energy objects started from31. December 2017. At the same time, it is predicted improvement of fluid oils quality both for transport use, and stationary use, started from the end of 2011”, states EPuS.

“These two regulations with the associated proceeding acts, as directly apply of the Aarhus Convention on public participation in making decision relevant to the environment protection, information and judicial protection and the state aid absence provide significant improvement of the life quality, human rights situation and the environment state in Serbia if they were actually applied”, warns the study.

Also, Serbian economy in the current state suffers significant limitations which come from the energy sector.

“Expected lifetime of the work force in Serbia is cut because of the big energy objects and transports. Population health is damaged, and according to that health cost of the work force are increased and the productive work time of some people is reduced. On the job position the work force ability to achieve great productivity was reduced significantly. At the same time, emission from the huge energy objects affects agriculture land and objects. These impacts were not described enough and there is a little data about this”, writes in the report of European Movement.

European Directive on big furnaces are defined upper emission limits of polluted matters from big furnaces.

“Low-calorie coal mostly burnt in large furnaces in Serbia contains a relatively low percentage of sulfur. However, given the very low caloric coal power, emissions resulting from it represent a significant pollution source. According to the Contract on the Energy Community of South East Europe, it is needed to reduce pollution from existing furnaces on the prescribed values from this directive, and no later by the end of 2017.  Given this task volume, which means that in Serbia for replacement or reconstruction of about 4,000 megawatts of installed capacity for electricity production and almost of entire district heating infrastructure, it was necessary to start this duty execution immediately after the Contract  ratification”,  writes in report.

It is pointed out that the cost of health and environment impacts are delayed for the future and accumulated in the deterioration form of the vital characteristics of the population and land productivity.

Accession to the European Union appears here as a critical survival determinant of not a small part of the Serbian population. Fulfillment or non-fulfillment of these material commitments impacts on expected lifetime, population diseases and productivity, the possibility of peaceful enjoyment in property, basic human rights, public safety and more. These environmental and public values ​​are invaluable and should be an absolute priority for public policy. This circumstance should be taken into account in assessing the costs and benefits of EU accession. Especially here we have in mind that the human life quality has no real economic price. To the years of human life we can join some estimated economic value, but for the individual who makes decisions at the end, his life is invaluable “, warns the European Movement.

The report conclusions warn that “the environment cost and the costs of these commitments achieving grow with time.

“Most of the energy impacts on the environment are cumulative, so their eliminating in the future may have a very, very high price. According to this, the set obligations should be realized as soon as possible, and even faster than in the date specified by contract. Velocity and the way to achieve these commitments are a key determinant of public administration quality and public participation in making decision. On the other hand, these are the key features of the democratization process in Serbia and, of course, affect those chapters of the Contract of Accession to the European Union concerning fundamental human rights, health, and economic development .

We have to know our responsibilities

Current energy problems of Serbia and even more need for their good solving are out of sight, understanding and public participation and without well government action. And without that there is not this problem solution or accession to the European Union.
What is this all about and what activities in energy sector should be done, tell us the obligations during the EU accession process. Without acceptance and those obligations performance the current behavior would continue what would lead us into larger problems and damages that thereof arise. The beginning is in complete public familiarization with everything related to energy and the performance of the obligations that we have, first of all towards ourselves and in our behalf.

Source; Serbia Energy

 

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