Serbia: The environment impact of the Energy Strategy, new TPPs and HPPs, the report

, News Serbia Energy

Strategy implementation produced a number of strategically significant and negative implications of the environment, which is an inevitable consequence of the energy sector development in Serbia

A strategic assessment of the environmental impact of the Serbia Energy Development Strategy until 2025th is the instrument using to assess impacts of planning decisions on the environment, which may occur by implementing a program, and determine the measures to reduce negative impacts.

The main objectives of the Serbia Energy Development Strategy are energy security, the energy market establishment and the sector functioning in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Achieving these objectives should allow the legal and institutional framework, as well as the potential development of energy directions, in the light of the Energy Community activities and the EU integration process.

The development of the energy sector includes electric power system, the system of district heating, renewable energy sources, coal, oil, natural gas and efficiency of energy use. In the power system was planned to successively withdraw thermal units with power below 300 MW in the period from 2018th to 2024th; construction of new power plants, coal-total power 700 MW by 2025th; construction of TE-TO on natural gas of total capacities of 450 MW by 2020th ; construction of the transmission capacity of 400 kV voltage level; strengthening the network of 110 kV voltage level and the development of the distribution network.

Age of heat sources, substations and distribution networks for district heating is more than 25 years and there is a need for its revitalization. By changing the energy products structure the emphasis is put at greater use of renewable energy sources.

By ratifying the Treaty on establishing the Energy Community, Serbia has undertaken obligations arising from the Directive on renewable energy sources. National Action Plan defined the objective that share of renewable sources in total consumption be 27 percent.

In order to retain existing and predicted thermal capacities, it is necessary to create new open pit mines. When it comes to oil, Serbia is highly import-dependent country with a low share of own production. In the future activities will be directed towards alleviating the condition.

Natural gas is also dominant imported energy source, and the transport system has limited capacity. Therefore the security of gas pipeline infrastructure in the country and the interconnection with the countries from the neighborhood is required. Great importance has gas pipeline “South Stream”, the capacity expansion of “Banatski Dvor” storage and construction of storage systems in Vojvodina and central parts of the country.

Law on efficient energy use is the basis for the support of these activities. The Law on Planning and Construction will consistently be applied in the buildings construction. The public informing and educating is an essential step towards the rational use of energy.

The strategy implementation produces a number of strategically significant and negative implications in the space and environment. Negative impacts are identified as inevitable consequence of the energy sector development in Serbia. This primarily refers to the creation of new thermal power plants on coal and open pit mines, which causes pollution of basic environmental elements, the landscape change, biodiversity and social implications due to the village movement.

Certain negative implications are expected with the construction of RHPP “Bistrica” and RHPP “Djerdap 3”, which will have a negative impact on the hydro flows regime, biodiversity and ichthyofauna, a possible change in use of agricultural and forest land.

As a signatory of the Espoo Convention and Kiev Protocol, Serbia has undertaken the obligation to inform the other states in terms of projects that may have transboundary impact. In this context, besides reversible hydropower plants there are projects of wind power plants because of the potential impact on international protected representatives of flying fauna and SHPP projects in border flows, due to possible adverse effects on ichthyofauna.

On the other hand a number of significant positive impacts of the Strategy were identified, of which the most important are:

1. First environmental quality – reducing of air, water and soil pollution, greenhouse gas emissions due to increasing use of renewable energy and using clean technologies in thermal power plants.

2. Social- economic development – energy development in function of economic growth, the formation of energy and energy products prices at market principles, development of domestic industry and commercial research sector for the transfer of modern technology, the application of energy efficiency measures in final consumption and overall development of the energy sector in the long run will represent contribution to the total sustainable economic development of the society.

The monitoring system for individual factors was defined as an instrument for monitoring implementation of planned activities and environment state. For all planned capital energy facilities, whose spatial impact dispersion is beyond local boundaries requires draft of appropriate planning documents or making strategic assessment of the environmental impact.

Source; Serbia Energy