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Although at first glance you would not think that a global coronavirus pandemic had any good sides, in fact they do exist. Corona has led us to look at our relationship with the world and the planet and to realise how badly we have been affecting the environment and the climate. Unfortunately, we have not changed much so far, but there are signs of positive change, both in our country and in the developed world, which is increasingly turning to clean, green energy. Let’s make it happen.

BEOGRADSKE ELEKTRANE PROVIDES HEAT AND ELECTRICITY

In addition to thermal energy, Beogradske Elektrane has recently begun to produce electricity. After 18 years, a plant worth about 6.5 million euros has started operating at the Voždovac heating plant, which now combines both types of energy. It can produce 10 megawatts of electricity and 10 megawatts of heat.

“The electricity produced is delivered to the distribution system of EPS at a subsidized tariff like green energy, while the heat produced is used for heating and domestic hot water. Outside the heating season, only the cogeneration plant produces heat, which is used for hot water for consumers in the areas of the Voždovac and Medaković heating plants”, explains Beogradske Elektrane.

SERBIA SUSPENDS CONSTRUCTION OF KOLUBARA B COAL-FIRED POWER PLANT

Serbia has decided to halt construction of the Kolubara B thermal power plant, which may be seen as the first serious step in the decarbonisation of the energy sector and a start on the energy transition.

According to the Trade Union of the Kolubara Mining Basin, the Ministry of Mining and Energy has written to the Electric Power Industry of Serbia, EPS, asking it to suspend all activities on the construction of the Kolubara B thermal power plant, following which the trade union organized a meeting of workers at the construction site near Kalenić.

SERBIA AND REPUBLIKA SRPSKA BUILD BUK BIJELA HPP

In the municipality of Foča, the respective prime ministers of Republika Srpska and Serbia, Radovan Višković and Ana Brnabić, have laid the foundation stone for the construction of the 93-megawatt Buk Bijela hydroelectric power plant, which should be completed in four years.

Elektroprivreda Srbije and Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske will jointly invest around 220 million euros in its construction. In the joint venture Hidroenergetski sistem Gornja Drina, EPS has a majority share of 51 per cent, and ERS 49 per cent. The hydropower project on the upper course of the Drina envisages the construction of three HPP:, Buk Bijela, Foča (44 MW) and Paunci (43 MW).

OUR WIND FARMS HAVE A CAPACITY OF 500 MW

In the last few years, Serbia has developed wind farms with a capacity of 500 megawatts, but it still produces two thirds of its electricity in 4GW coal-fired power plants. With the adoption of the first Law on Renewable Energy Sources, the new Ministry of Mining and Energy, headed by Minister Zorana Mihajlović, has galvanized the energy transition from its doldrums and created the conditions to increase the production of green energy, but the real challenge is reducing production at coal-fired power plants.

IN NORTH MACEDONIA ELECTRICITY PRICES ARE RISING

Electricity is becoming more expensive due to green energy.

“The costs of installing photovoltaic plants, wind farms and gas power plants means an increase in electricity bills. In developing the energy sector, the Government of North Macedonia will establish a renewable energy fund. We want green energy – the price of electricity will go up”, said Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev.

Zaev attributed the impending increase in electricity bills to investment in solar plants, wind farms and gas power plants, and said that people should be told that they cost money. He added that foreign policy, changes to the constitution and other activities are aimed at raising living standards, investment, job creation and opportunities for Macedonians.

ELECTRICITY CAN ALSO BE GENERATED ON MARS

Electricity on Mars can be produced with the help of kites.

Scientists from the University of Technology in Delft in the Netherlands claim that electricity on Mars can be produced by large kites that will rotate in flight and move a stationary turbine. The first human crew will already set off for the red planet in 2035. If the mission is successful, it is likely that small settlements will be established. To survive on Mars, a large amount of energy is needed, and the possibility of transporting power plants and fuel from Earth is currently very limited.

The solar potential on the red planet is very weak. It can be used to power research robots, but much more is needed for human survival. The atmosphere is too rare for conventional wind turbines. Dutch scientists claim that huge kites can be constructed tied to spools or spindles on the surface of Mars, which would drive a turbine by rotating.

IDRIJA SMARTENING UP

The small town of Idrija will be among the first towns in Slovenia to install batteries for storing electricity locally and to achieve flexibility in electricity consumption with the help of a public infrastructure management system. Idrija is involved in the national NEDO project with Japanese partners. Kolektor Sisteh is installing a battery storage system in a small hydroelectric power plant in Idrija as part of a three-year project for smart grids. The main partners are the Japanese Organisation for New Energy and Industrial Technology Development (NEDO), its authorised contractor Hitachi and ELES.

Completion of installation of the equipment and handover for use are scheduled for June, after which a six-month trial should follow as part of the transformation of Idrija into a smart town. www.balkangreenenergynews.com

VIENNA GETS NEW “GIANT COOKER”

The city of Vienna has started construction of a new Power-to-Heat plant next to the Spittelau incinerator, which, like a giant cooker, will convert excess green electricity from the grid into thermal energy. The goal is to use all available energy, to increase the share of renewables in heating energy and to enhance the stability of the electricity network. Operations at the plant are planned to begin in the spring of 2022, announced the representative office of the City of Vienna.

On the roof of the plant there will be space for rest and gardening for the staff, where in the future they will be able to plant tomatoes, peppers and spices together. The greening of the space will add to the fight against heat islands in the city, says the announcement. B92

GAS DEMAND EXPECTED TO GROW

Global gas demand is expected to rise by 3.2% in 2021, erasing losses in 2020 and moving demand to 1.3% above 2019 levels. This recovery in gas demand has been driven mainly by fast-growing markets – primarily in Asia and to a lesser extent in the Middle East – but subject to uncertainty about industrial recovery and fuel price competitiveness.

Demand in the European Union is expected to recover to the level of 2019. Growth in the United States is more gradual, and demand is not expected to return to 2019 levels. Low temperatures in the first months of 2021 and winter storms also led to some extreme tensions in demand and price fluctuations, first in January in north-east Asia, and then in February in North America, especially in Texas, and this trend is expected to continue.

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