The first phase of the construction of the express motorway Štip – Radoviš in a length of 23.5 km was initiated.
The first phase of the construction of the express motorway Štip – Radoviš in a length of 23.5 km was initiated. The value of this investment is EUR 28 million provided with a loan from the EBRD. The road will be built on a completely new route from the place Sofilari, close to Štip, to Bučim. The construction contract has already been signed and the new road should be completed by the end of 2020, or the beginning of 2021. Simultaneously with the construction, the existing regional road will be expanded, for which EUR 3 million will be invested. The Austrian company "Strabag" will perform the field activities. The Director of the Public Enterprise for State Roads announced that they have obtained approval for the second part of the road in the length of 17.5 km, for which a call to construction companies was already published. The deadline for the second part is next winter or spring and the construction should last two years.
Company name: Strabag
Deal value: EUR 28 million
Company website: www.strabag.com
On the occasion of the 1000th edition of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin focused on South East European countries, Beta News Agency is releasing a series of articles on energy available free of charge on www.beta.rs in Serbian and on www.betabriefing.com in English.Electricity produced from coal has no future, regardless of how much the advocates of coal-fired power plants call for supply security and problems with balancing the variable production from renewable energy sources - the wind and the sun, Association of Energy Sector Specialists President Nikola Rajakovic has said regarding the energy crisis and energy transition in Serbia. "Increasing electricity production from renewable sources, along with measures for increasing energy efficiency and decarbonization of energy production and consumption, constitute the backbone of the energy transition and the obligations Serbia took on by joining the Energy Community and accepting climate agreements," said professor Rajakovic.Modern societies are founded on digitization and the Internet as the keys to communication and management, while in the near future they will also be based on solar and wind energy, as well as the digitized mobility of autonomous electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles. "The energy sector is one of the most important branches of the economy in Serbia, while the concept of present-day energy in Serbia is still based on the economic paradigm of the 1970s, which is characterized by an energy intensive and inefficient use of energy in the sectors of heating, transportation and final use of electricity," said Rajakovic.In electricity production, as he put it, Serbia predominantly relies on lignite-fired thermal power plants with low efficiency, and so the energy sector is the main polluter of air, water and soil and jeopardizes the environment and human health.The Serbian energy sector, in his words, also has a dominant impact on greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for more than 70% of total emissions.Today's energy infrastructure, both in Serbia and the region, definitely cannot meet the demands of sustainable development in the 21st century, he said, and the risks of climate change to Serbia's sustainable development are obvious and threaten to endanger energy and other infrastructure, agricultural production, the accessibility of water, and public health."The functioning of the power system in current liberalized market conditions, with the introduction of competition and forming of electricity prices at an economically sustainable level, is definitely a prerequisite for an energy transition," Rajakovic said.He pointed out that it was "clear that the energy policy and energy crossroads have for decades been among the key issues of modern civilization."The complexity of the challenges energy faces today is, in his words, such that it requires even more thought-out teamwork and regional connectivity because room for maneuver for optimal solutions is limited primarily by climate change, but also by the available natural resources, economic limitations and available technologies."Finding optimal solutions in the multidisciplinary energy sector in transitional circumstances is definitely a very complex and broad problem, and in the 21st century the development of every country will depend on its capacity to adapt to new trends, the uncertainties of change and the challenges it brings," said Rajakovic.He added that the international community's response to climate change was the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (in 2015).The energy development guidelines, as he put it, should be based on sustainable development policies, taking into account supply security, price competitiveness, energy availability and sustainability in terms of climate change and in terms of environmental protection, with the efficient use of resources and clean energy. A targeted increase in the sector's efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources may, according to him, simultaneously result in making energy a driver of stability and sustainable economic development, with the fulfillment of obligations taken on as regards the EU energy policies.The secondary effects, according to him, will lead to an increase in sustainable development, a reduction of public debt and an increase in the sector's competitiveness, and so the energy transition should be seen as an opportunity for development.Rajakovic further said that the concept of sustainable energy development could conspicuously affect the development of the Serbian economy and the region's economies because the energy sector was very powerful and one of the few which still had the power to launch an intensive economic recovery, and was simultaneously linked to the accompanying industries."The process of decarbonizing energy, which is to be completed in Europe by 2050, should be planned urgently and its implementation should be systematically initiated both in Serbia and the region in the next few years," said Rajakovic.He went on to say that the implementation of the necessary reforms and the energy sector's transformation were complex political, economic, technical and social processes which called for a consensus of numerous interested parties.Seeing as the energy transition, in Rajakovic's words, causes negative social consequences for certain social groups, especially due to a reduction of production and coal use, fair transition programs need to be planned and applied, which include the economic restructuring of the regions of Serbia that are highly dependent on fossil fuels and lignite exploitation.The term "green growth" or "green economy" are, according to him, often used as synonyms for an energy transition, while that process entails a radical transformation of the energy sector which is based on decarbonization and digitization.It is important, as he put it, for the energy transition to be fair from the aspect of all participants, which could partially be achieved through the decentralization and democratization of the sector and the inclusion of buyers as active participants in energy markets, simultaneously as producers and consumers."For Serbia's electricity sector, decarbonization means gradually abandoning the use of lignite and switching to domestic renewable sources, solar energy, wind power and biomass energy which will, together with the development of hydropotential, partially enable Serbia to become energy independent," said Rajakovic.Specific plans with deadlines for shutting down all thermal power plants in the next few decades need to be prepared, he said, because taxes on CO2 emissions will certainly make the operation of those blocks economically unsustainable. That would also mitigate the environmental burden they place on Serbia.Decentralization, in his words, entails the distribution of production in terms of geography and location, solar panels on roofs and small distributed solar power plants, which will bring energy co-ops additional democratization, or even the demonopolization of the electricity production sector."Digitization in a broader sense refers to the introduction of hardware and software for managing smart energy infrastructure, which entails the application of smart network technologies. For Serbia, digitization definitely creates serious economic chances as well, particularly for the innovative export-oriented economy," said Rajakovic.In the European Green Deal (EU GD), adopted for EU citizens, the European Commission, as he put it, reaffirms its commitment to dealing with global climate and environmental challenges, which is considered the main task of this generation.The EU GD, according to him, is a new growth strategy whereby the EU intends to transform into a just and prosperous society with a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, with zero greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 and economic growth not tied to the exploitation of resources.That is why this is the right time to accelerate the energy transition process in Serbia and that is why it needs to be recognized as an opportunity to secure more sustainable growth and development by switching more quickly to renewable energy sources and implementing digitization and decarbonization.On the occasion of the 1000th edition of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin focused on South East European countries, Beta News Agency is releasing a series of articles on energy available free of charge on www.beta.rs in Serbian and on www.betabriefing.com in English.Read More
On the occasion of the 1000th edition of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin focused on South East European countries, Beta News Agency is releasing a series of articles on energy available free of charge on www.beta.rs in Serbian and on www.betabriefing.com in English.Electricity supply to consumers in Kosovo is currently stable, while prices on the European markets have begun to decrease and that in turn increases price stability, BETA has learned from the Kosovo Ministry of Economy, which is also in charge of energy. There have been no major investments in Kosovo's electricity sector since the construction of two production units of the Kosovo B power plant - block A in 1983 and block B in 1984, while the Kosovo Energy Corporation (KEK) has secured some lignite reserves. "Kosovo does not have other fuel reserves except minimal stockpiles of fuel oil. Given that domestic production from existing power plants and other renewable sources does not cover domestic demand, there is a need for imports when demand rises," Ministry representatives said.The Kosovo energy system relies on market capacities, which are more accessible now because imports can be arranged through a new 400 kV interconnection with Albania, the officials added.Electricity prices for regulated consumers, in the absence of "proper" market functioning, are set by the Energy Regulatory Office and according to a decision made in October this year, electricity tariffs in Kosovo will remain the same for the course of this tariff year, which lasts until April 2022."Estimates say that the defined tariffs, which will cover the maximum revenues permitted, will enable regulated operators to perform operative functions in optimal conditions and will ensure that buyers get a stable supply," the Ministry officials said.Last year, as they put it, 15% of electricity needs were met from renewable energy sources, but since production depends on the weather its effect on Kosovo's overall energy production may change on an annual basis.The total capacity of electricity production in Kosovo in 2020 was 1,110 MW, 960 MW or 86.5% of which came from power plants, while the rest was from renewable energy sources in hydropower plants, wind power plants and photovoltaic panels.In 2021, several other capacities were included in electricity production. The Energy Regulatory Office is continuously gathering data on their production, which it will unveil in 2022.The Economy Ministry reps said that in the event of shortages and an energy price hike, with the approval of maximum permitted revenues and tariffs, the Energy Regulatory Office would also take into account an increase in import prices, which are beyond operators' control."However, an increase in revenues, as a result of increased electricity production, has neutralized the total costs of electricity supply and so the permitted revenues will not reflect an electricity price hike for end consumers in the tariff year of 2021, whereas they will be assessed for the tariff year of 2022," the officials added.At the same time, they pointed out, bearing in mind the non-functioning of the energy boundary between Kosovo and Serbia, the entire cross-border capacity will not be enough to secure the necessary imports, and so consumers are recommended to use electricity efficiently.Kosovo's great dependence on electricity imports is also expected in the period of a capital overhaul of the Kosovo B power plant's production units in 2022 and 2023, so the line ministry said electricity tariffs may rise.On the occasion of the 1000th edition of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin focused on South East European countries, Beta News Agency is releasing a series of articles on energy available free of charge on www.beta.rs in Serbian and on www.betabriefing.com in English.Read More
On the occasion of the 1000th edition of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin focused on South East European countries, Beta News Agency is releasing a series of articles on energy available free of charge on www.beta.rs in Serbian and on www.betabriefing.com in English.Due to an energy crisis, North Macedonia is importing electricity and drawing it from the European electrical grid because the country's biggest producer, TPP Bitola, has switched off the last of its three blocks because of a defect. On Nov. 8, the government declared a 30-day state of energy crisis, based on an estimated risk of electricity shortages resulting from the limited capacities of North Macedonian production and the higher electricity prices on foreign markets. "The only measure stemming from the decision to declare a state of energy crisis is the injecting of money into state-owned energy companies for the purpose of stabilizing the situation on the electricity market and securing stable supply," Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi has said. According to him, the government will intervene with budget funds so as to increase the liquidity of power company ESM and power transmission system operator MEPSO, and for electricity imports in the event of potential malfunctions in power plants. ESM representatives have said that the country's electricity needs after the shutdown of TPP Bitola "are being met from other capacities and by procured electricity, as well as from the reserves" designed for such short episodes. Due to conspicuously reduced electricity production, the state has purchased electricity for EUR5.5m, launching import which is to last until Nov. 20, whereas after the malfunction in TPP Bitola MEPSO again started drawing electricity from the European electrical grid. MEPSO has already received five warnings for drawing electricity from the European grid over the past two weeks and will have to pay EUR15m plus penalties because it drew electricity even when the North Macedonian power system was not malfunctioning. In Bekteshi's words, the energy crisis has largely spilled over from world markets into North Macedonia, which imports a big portion of its electricity. "Given that the price of electricity has increased enormously on world energy exchanges, work is being done to fully activate domestic capacities. We are working on finding the best way out of this energy crisis," said Bekteshi, stressing that the prices for citizens would not be raised until the end of the year. North Macedonian government officials have told BETA that the new law fully implements the third package of EU directives referring to the internal energy market and completely liberalizes the market. That means big consumers procure electricity on the market on their own, while the government provides cheaper electricity for households and small consumers through a universal supplier, from domestic production. "The price for this year is 36 euros per MWh and is currently five to six times lower than on the energy exchanges in the region and Europe," the officials said. They pointed out that due to the price hike on energy exchanges, primarily on Hungary's HUPX, which is in a way the reference exchange for North Macedonia, serious problems had appeared in supplies to institutions and state and privately owned companies, which procured electricity on the free market. "Certain suppliers have begun canceling their existing contracts with consumers or offering them considerably higher prices for the electricity they are to deliver. The Energy Regulatory Commission reacted immediately and launched procedures for stripping those suppliers of their license, in order to stop serious disruptions on the electricity market," the government officials said. They underscored that the government could not influence events on global exchanges, but was making an effort to provide additional quantities of electricity by increasing production at the ESM, which would buffer the price shock for companies. Over the last 15 years, roughly 70% of electricity in North Macedonia has come from domestic power plants, primarily the ESM, while about 30% of the needs have been covered by imports. According to information from the government, the output of thermal power plants has been reduced in the last 10 years, particularly of TPP Oslomej which is not operating at full capacity because there is no available lignite in the mines in its vicinity, and for the past year or two it has been operating thanks to imports from Kosovo. The situation is similar in TPP Bitola, where the quantities of lignite used for electricity production have been reduced in recent years, which automatically reduced the efficiency of the country's biggest thermal power plant, and one should take into account the fact that it has been operating for more than 40 years. The quantities of lignite in TPP Bitola's mine are sufficient, the government officials added, for the TPP to operate with two blocks throughout the winter, whereas efforts are being invested in securing sufficient quantities of lignite from the region for block three, so that domestic production may increase and "the negative effects caused by the distortion of the price of electricity on world energy exchanges decrease." "In collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce of North Macedonia, the possibility of including TPP Negotino, which is powered by fuel oil and is kept as a cold reserve, is being analyzed" the officials said. When asked whether the use of nuclear energy was back on the table, the officials said that the construction of nuclear power plants was not being considered at the moment or for the near future, but added that in the event of initiatives of neighboring states for regional projects something like that might be accepted if it was in the interest of the citizens of North Macedonia and their energy security. The government points out that North Macedonia is "seriously committed to realizing a green scenario, which does not envisage the production of electricity from coal after 2035." "That means the electricity balances will predominantly come from renewable energy sources, primarily photovoltaic power plants, wind power plants and large hydropower plants. Of course, the stability of the system is to be secured by gas-powered thermal power plants as well, the construction of which is foreseen in Skopje and Bitola, for which feasibility studies are currently being made," the officials said. The government adopted the Energy Strategy by 2040, which envisages a transition to electricity production from renewable sources, in late 2019.On the occasion of the 1000th edition of Beta Monitor, a specialized economic bulletin focused on South East European countries, Beta News Agency is releasing a series of articles on energy available free of charge on www.beta.rs in Serbian and on www.betabriefing.com in English.Read More