Although the proposed concept for the Reform of the Renewable Energy Support Scheme System in Bosnia and Herzegovina provides mechanisms that will allow more efficient subsidies for all forms of renewable energy, we strongly propose to exclude subsidies for hydropower, is the message coming from the Center for Environment.
“Given that this is a very important process, we encourage the public to get involved in this public consultation by the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina on its website on the aforementioned proposal to reform the Renewable Energy Sources (RES) incentives system, which will be open until this Sunday, September 15, 2019 (http://www.mvteo.gov.ba/Content/Read/energetika-javni-pozivi?lang=en)”, points out the group.
The project for the reform of the RES incentives system was launched in early 2018 by a working group composed of representatives of institutions on the state and entity levels, with the support of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The project envisages the introduction of a transparent mechanism for the relocation of incentives for RES through an auction system, which will, as a result, incentivise renewable energy projects more efficiently. Also, as a novelty, it also provides support for citizen community energy projects and “prosumers”.
“Without a new incentives system for renewable energy which will ensure a more efficient allocation of funds from RES levies paid by citizens, an energy transition to a cleaner and more sustainable energy system with less impact on air and water quality and the environment will not be possible in B-H. In that sense, we welcome this concept, but we also insist that it makes no sense to keep on supporting old technology such as hydropower, which has a major environmental impact, and in the case of small hydropower, also contributes little to B-H’s energy mix,” emphasized Nestor Ruiz, Center for Environment’s Energy and Climate Change Program Assistant.
According to him, it is necessary to support technologies that are still under development and whose costs are expected to continue to decrease, as is the case – he highlights – with solar photovoltaic energy and wind farms, in locations that are not environmentally sensitive.
Pippa Gallop of CEE Bankwatch Network emphasizes that the organisation certainly supports the transition to a more economically sustainable RES incentives system, but stresses that the system must also be environmentally sustainable.
“Even if auctions focus on the most sustainable forms of energy, such as solar and wind energy, auction rules must ensure that environmental permits and other approvals are provided before the auction. In this way conflictive issues can be solved before projects are selected for incentives, and support for projects in sensitive areas would be avoided”, she explained.
In addition to site-specific auctions for large hydropower projects, which have never before been included in the RES incentive system, another weak point of this proposal is not to consider the possibility of incentivising renewable energy from funds collected from large industrial pollutants through carbon emissions taxes, to reduce the financial burden on ordinary citizens.
«The share of pollutant taxes in the financial resources for the promotion of RES should be significant, implying that the RES fee should not just be borne by the public. In this way, energy from dirty sources would also gradually be replaced by energy from clean sources», explained Majda Ibrakovic, Center for Environment’s Energy and Climate Change Program Assistant.
(This activity is part of the Blue Heart campaign and the River Keepers campaign financed by the European Union as part of the Eko BiH project).
This Press release was produced with the financial support of the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Eko BiH project and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.