Serbia: What is the future of thermal power plants in Serbia, huge investments & modernization extends the operation

, News Serbia Energy

“If we would stop using “dirty” energy from power plants and mines, we would have lost as much as half of electricity production in Serbia” – said Zorana Mihajlovic, Minister of Energy, Development and the environmental protection the 11th Meeting of the Ministerial Council of the Energy Community of South East Europe. Serbia will give up their thermal capacities only 2027th instead 2018th years, as by the laws of the European Community, was planned, it was said at the meeting.

The plan was that thermal power plants are shut down in 5 years! The Minister pointed out that this is impossible, and that it will be worked on desulphurisation, when it comes to TENT, and it will be  moved on to the use of coal, which is not harmful. Minister Mihajlovic said that the only other option for power supply is the construction of a nuclear power plant, but it would be too expensive and they would not know what to do with this amount of waste. What is left then? It remains that Serbia, but also the entire region, turn to building hydro capacities. This could reduce the negative impact on the environment. And there are other renewable energy sources.

What then is the fate of the thermal power plants? Judging by the words of the Minister Mihajlovic, a spokesperson at the meeting, coal will not be used to generate electricity in 10 years. This applies not only for Serbia but for the entire region. According to the Minister, the withdrawal of thermal power plants that do not meet high standards of environmental protection is a process that will take place gradually, and allows members of the Energy Community to make such energy mix to take advantage of the resources which are at their disposal. How is this a real story, it is not known, but according to data from 2010, the coal (in Serbia) is involved in the production of electricity even with 64.1%, hydropower with 34.5%, and natural gas with 1.4%. This means that by 2027 these figures had to be changed.

The current situation in Serbia is such that the energy stability of the country depends on coal. And not only in the present – in the Kolubara and Kostolac coal basin it is reasonably foreseeable that there are coal for fifty years. If coal is our energy security, then we should seriously work on the modernization of surface mines, to increase the quality of the coal, as well as to improve the entire process – from the exploitation of coal, to power generation. The equipment must be modernized in order to impact on the environment as low as possible. Natural resources must be exploited effectively, rationally and in a cleaner way, and thermal power plants with coal supply of uniform quality, which will significantly contribute to the reduction of “greenhouse gases”.

Electricity consumption is growing, and it is necessary to make all reasonable efforts to provide secure energy supply. Safe, reliable and quality energy supply is a prerequisite for economic and social development, as stated in the Draft of Energy Strategy, which is soon to be adopted in the Republic of Serbia. Priority activities in this Strategy are reconstruction of the existing thermal power plants and new coal-fired thermal power capacities of 700 MW, by 2025. It is also necessary the application of the Directive on large combustion plants, which requires installation of desulphurization and denitrification of flue gases. Implementation of the Directive requires significant investment. Given the importance of thermal power capacities for energy security of the country is necessary to ensure their modernization on time in order to prevent their forced withdrawal.

In order to prepare for eventual membership in the EU, Serbia must implement significant reforms in the energy sector. Conclusion which follows from the above ideas and policies is that “dirty” energy must be converted into a “clean” or at least “cleaner” energy. To reach this goal, it is necessary to choose the quickest, most realistic and most profitable way.

Source; Serbia Energy

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