The energy sector is one of the main sources of pollution. At the global level, carbon dioxide emissions, as a result of use of fossil fuels, generate 61% of total greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the threats relating to climate change,Â there are many very strong reasons for changing the classic way of generatingÂ energy. There
The energy sector is one of the main sources of pollution. At the global level, carbon dioxide emissions, as a result of use of fossil fuels, generate 61% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to the threats relating to climate change,Â there are many very strong reasons for changing the classic way of generatingÂ energy. There is, first of all, reduction of world oil production, developmentÂ of technologies for renewable energy and development of sophisticated energyÂ efficiency measures.
eKapija.ba talked about the development perspective ofÂ renewable, especially wind power, with prominent university professor MehmedÂ Behmen, Ph.D., founder of measurements and studies of wind resources in BiH.
WhatÂ is the current status of renewable energy in the overall energy sector ofÂ Bosnia and Herzegovina?
– Forecasts of the International Energy Agency predict,Â in their base scenario, annual growth in energy consumption of 1.6% and in caseÂ of failing to adopt new energy efficiency measures, the impact of such aÂ scenario on the climate system of the planet could be catastrophic. TheÂ European Union has adopted an energy-climate package of policies and laws thatÂ are based on general objectives, the so-called 20-20-20 concept: the legallyÂ required 20% share of renewable energy sources by 2020 and 20% CO2 reductionÂ while increasing energy efficiency by 20% over the same period. Thus, theÂ amount of energy consumed in the future would decrease, not increase (e.g. theÂ USA is asking for achieving the goal of 80% of “clean energy” byÂ 2035).
It is important to note that one should notÂ underestimate the importance of the renewable energy sources sector to theÂ overall economy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because KWh produced from TPPs andÂ HPPs is equal to the kWh from renewable sources e.g. wind power. BiH is theÂ only country in the region that produces a surplus in electricity, whichÂ represents a significant item in exports. Exports of electricity relieves theÂ very pronounced deficit in the trade balance of the country.
WhatÂ is it that needs to change in the energy policy of BiH so that renewable energyÂ can be given the importance it deserves?
– Electricity production is around 1.55 billion euros,Â which makes about 30% of GDP at the state level. At the same time, in BiH aboutÂ 2.5 times more energy per unit of gross domestic product is spent in comparisonÂ to the developed countries. Bosnia and Herzegovina does not have a commonÂ energy policy or strategy for the planned approach to the development of theÂ energy sector as an important segment of the economy. We still do not exploitÂ various opportunities and offers of our own natural energy sources, and we doÂ not perform the necessary diversification of production for the quality of theÂ power system in general.
Electric Power Industries (EPBiH, ERS and EPHZHB) inÂ Bosnia and Herzegovina shall primarily provide security of electricity supplyÂ to the domestic market, which until now has been realized through production inÂ base power plants (thermal and large hydroelectric power plant) constructedÂ long time ago. However, nowadays more attention is paid to renewable energyÂ projects (small hydroelectric power plants and wind farms), and other sourcesÂ of renewable energy and energy efficiency is left to initiatives of otherÂ energy companies.
Such an energy policy, as shown in these circumstances,Â can not give a good result because of the full political control and the
inertia of public enterprises, which is a limiting factor to development, whichÂ leads to delays in construction of new TPPs and HPPs, and finally renewableÂ energy projects (WF). Not to mention the indirect effects – lack of developmentÂ of domestic energy production and equipment intended for energy.
ENERGYÂ CREATES JOBS
WhatÂ are actually the potentials for job creation in the renewable energy sector inÂ BiH?
– According to various expert meetings there has beenÂ new employment, e.g. in the field of wind energy, which shows an average of 2.5Â jobs per megawatt installed in the EU, of which over 65 percent relates toÂ equipment production. Since the potential in BiH is 1,200 MW, this means thatÂ there is a possible figure of around 3,000 jobs directly (in BiH 1.200) orÂ 10,000 induced (BiH 3.500). There are considerable opportunities to create newÂ jobs through the use of other renewable sources such as production of biofuels,Â with jobs in agriculture, transport, collection of secondary raw materials, orÂ in cogeneration (heat and power from biomass), in production of pellets,Â briquettes and wood chips, with an estimate of around 700 direct and over 3,000Â indirect jobs.
HowÂ do you see the current RES position over conventional sources?
– Economically, the production cost of electricity fromÂ RES is almost equal to that of conventional fossil fuel plants. InÂ technological terms, there are certain difficulties in managing the supply e.g.Â with wind, but modern technical solutions and more accurate forecasts ofÂ production are solving the problem successfully. Another problem is that withÂ independent producers (who are not part of the existing system) the sellingÂ price of kilowatt hour of renewable energy somewhat higher because theseÂ companies do not have in their portfolio already previously constructed plantsÂ that have been paid off multiple times (amortized) such as the state powerÂ industries, so they can not perform adjust the prices or offer a price at theÂ average level of the system, which may be lower than the actual price from theÂ plant. Therefore, all countries that assume international obligations and wantÂ to have it in their power system a share of renewable energy through a systemÂ of controlled prices (feed in tariffs) create conditions for the developmentÂ and construction of renewable energy, as is the case with Bosnia andÂ Herzegovina.
According to these principles, Denmark launched 18Â years ago an industry with which it reduced its dependence on imported energyÂ and simultaneously increased the participation of electricity from RES, at thisÂ moment, to almost 30%. additionally, there is the development of production ofÂ wind turbines (the famous Vestas, for example) with a high share on the worldÂ market.
HowÂ do you see the role of domestic public electric power industries and theÂ domestic industry in the construction of renewable energy?
– Due to the overall state of awareness of the economicÂ sector (philosophy of de-industrialization), as well as energy, i.e. the lackÂ of knowledge of new ways of financing construction of power plants, only theÂ electric power industries have been provided from the government theÂ opportunities and conditions to start with the use of renewable energyÂ (concessions, loans, etc.. ), which were supposed to use the priorityÂ appropriately in relation to the place and role of the energy sector in theÂ society as a whole. Public power industries have taken over the development ofÂ dozens of wind energy projects and small hydroelectric power plants, so allÂ that was available on a “cover-everything-you-can” principle,Â neglecting an enormous indebtedness of the state (currently solely about 350Â million euros to the KfW bank), instead of building these projects throughÂ foreign direct investments, not burdening the state. The governing policiesÂ that control electric power industries dictate in this way the pace ofÂ development and implementation of projects and general development of theÂ energy sector, which through various bureaucratic bravura in obtaining consentÂ (concessions, grid connection, etc..), make the work of independent producersÂ impossible.
Interview by: Elvira Kokor