Wind energy represents a huge opportunity for development of the energy sector in Serbia because as a renewable source also contributes to energy security. Also it will reduce the electricity imports because 70 percent of electricity is got from wind farms during the winter when Serbia mostly imports and when import is the most expensive.
500 megawatts got from wind farms would reduce import dependence for at least 1. 000 gigawatts – said Ana Brnabic, manager of the company Continental Wind Serbia at the conference ” the Energy and budget deficit of Serbia.
She added that the construction of wind farms in Serbia would lead to a significant increase in investment and the launch of the domestic construction industry.
-A large number of people will be employed during the construction period, and the budget will generate significant tax revenue. It will come up to reduction of health care costs due to lower air pollution. It will be recorded and a favorable impact on the environment and a great contribution to combat the effects of climate change. In political terms, it will enhance its accession into the European Union through the objectives achievement of energy consumption from renewable sources. Also, it will be a clear signal to the public that Serbia modernizes – said Brnabic.
Speaking of where Serbia energy sector today is, she said that 80 percent of electricity came from power plants that were 30 or more years old and twenty percent from large hydropower plants. Thermal power plants in Serbia are one of the largest sources of greenhouse gases and particles pollution in Europe. They are the single largest source of sulfur dioxide in Europe.
– Thermal power plants are serious external costs for citizens and the state, which are not included in electricity prices. Serbia has the highest death rate from lung cancer in Europe. In agriculture, organic production is disabled. It is estimated that the external costs of obsolete power plants in Serbia reach about 13 eurocents per kilowatt-hour. Heating sector is heavily dependent on imported gas, which further threatens the energy security of the country. The consequence of the diversification lack in energy sources, coal for power generation and gas for heat generation, leads the country in an extremely vulnerable position – said the Manager of Continental Wind Serbia.
In emergency situations, Serbia is forced to import electricity as was the case in the winter of 2009th, and this month, when our country was struck by a disastrous flood. Brnabic reminded that Continental Wind Serbia worked on the construction of wind farms “Cibuk” near Kovin which would issue a benefit of 259MEUR to the state of Serbia.
Starry Kalamar, the CEKOR energy consultant, said that according to well-established international estimates, Serbia lost more than six billion EUR per year through pollution from the energy sector.
– As a consequence of coal combustion in power plants is estimated to die more than 2.000 citizens of Serbia. The question is how much health damage is when mining and pollution in cities because of the bad winter energy structure are calculated in. More than 800,000 households burn wood and coal to poor and inefficient way – said Kalamar.
He said that Serbia was extremely sensitive to climatic excesses and lasting changes. In the long run the Serbian economy and infrastructure are not resistant to climate change.
. – There is no obligation of strategic analysis of adaptation to climate change sectors, programs and projects. There is a lack of a national analysis by sector and cumulative susceptibility to climate excesses – said Kalamar.
He concluded that the energy policy in Serbia is centralized and based on fossil fuels, making it dependent on import. It is based on state guarantees for lignite power plants.
– Serbia needs an integrated social policy, green industrial transition, energy efficient residential buildings and strengthening the energy efficiency sector, decentralization of energy and the elimination of state aid in all forms for lignite plants – said Kalamar.
Srdjan Knezevic, a consultant in the advisory department of the company Ernst & Young in Serbia, said that there was a great potential and possibility of construction of renewable energy in our country, especially when it came to wind and biomass. He pointed out that the thermal units were not only big pollutants, but it was totally impossible for them to operate in a disaster as was the case recently when Serbia was involved by unprecedented floods. Therefore it should look for alternatives such as renewable energy. When it comes to renewable sources the construction of large capacity would not only increase energy stability and security of Serbia, but would positively affect the environmental conservation and get us closer to the European Union through the establishment of European standards in this area.
Deputy Minister refused to come
As the Deputy Minister of Energy and Mining Milos Banjac, although announced, did not appear at the conference “The Energy and budget deficit of Serbia”, organized by Danas conference center, the public remained deprived of the state’s attitude on the issues discussed at the meeting. It was previously envisaged that Mirjana Filipovic, state secretary, attended conference in the name of the Ministry of Energy and Mining, but later from the ministry have been reported to Danas conference center that their representative will be Milos Banjac. Unfortunately, he ignored request received from the ministry to which he belongs, and did not appear at the conference.