The Fifteenth International Energy Fair, the 16th International Ecology and Environmental Fair – Ecofair and the 7th International Smart Technology Fair – iSEC officially opened its gates on Wednesday, 2 October 2019 in Hall 1 at Belgrade Fair. The opening of these events was attended by numerous government officials, businessmen, guests, exhibitors and visitors.
By addressing the attendees, the Minister of Environmental Protection in the Government of the Republic of Serbia, Mr. Goran Trivan, advocated a situation in which environmental protection should be important for everyone, for both the economy and society as a whole. Ever since last year the Ministry has been trying to put this whole host of issues into the right context and on the right track so as to connect the most important actors in this area in our society.
Our drinking water, for example, is part of the geostrategic image of the planet, Mr. Trivan recalled. Every story about hazardous waste is a question of our health as well as of a potential crime. For that reason the Prosecutor’s Office and Security Agency are concerned in their own way. That is why we take the burning issues with regard to river exploitation very seriously, and in that sense Serbia is becoming more and more aware of the complexity of these issues. Therefore, we should not destroy those few valuable protected areas we have even for financial reasons.
This ministry, with the help of other ministries, bodies and institutions, has virtually completed a document called the “negotiating position for Chapter 27”, which is a huge undertaking. Documentation for the construction of wastewater treatment plants and municipal waste is also being prepared, and the goal is to have 359 wastewater treatment systems. Over two billion dinars have been invested in the so-called recyclers, which need to pick up, process and export waste, and in that sense better times are ahead of us. Similarly, 600-700 million have been spent and are yet to be spent on rehabilitation of unshared landfills, Mr. Trivan said.
Mr. Savo Bezmarevic, an Executive Director of Technical Energy Generation Affairs at EPS, said that, as the largest electricity company in the region, EPS has launched a major cycle to modernize and build production capacity. Environmental projects and greater use of renewable energy sources play an important role in this. More than €350 million has been invested in environmental projects, and more than €800 million will have been invested by the end of 2025. New ecological projects in thermal power plants have started. EPS is already in the process of building a Kostolac wind farm, the first plant in EPS history to produce electricity using wind power with investments worth around €100 million.
By solemnly declaring these fairs open, Mr. Aleksandar Antic, a Minister of Mining and Energy supported all systematic efforts aimed at environmental protection and found that it was the energy sector and specifically EPS that represented the largest investor in projects and environmental protection. Over the past few years, around € 300 million has been invested in environmental projects by EPS alone, primarily when it comes to tackling powder pollution and denitrification. Companies providing technology services that enhance all our processes participate in this fair, both from the point of view of efficiency and from the point of view of introducing new technologies.
In cities and municipalities that base their heating systems on fossil fuels, we find solutions to switching to biomass, and contracts are signed with Novi Pazar, Nova Varos, Prijepolje, Majdanpek, while new 19 municipalities are “waiting in line” for switching to biomass, Mr. Antic pointed out.
He said that “we are looking forward to establishing an energy efficiency fund, which should be available not only to local governments or public buildings, but also to a wider circle of citizens.”
Day by day we also work to improve our energy mix. It is a well-known fact that until recently about 70 percent of energy was generated from coal, whereas the rest from hydro potential, but in the past few years we have been able to put on the grid 500 megabytes of newly installed capacity from renewable sources, wind energy, biomass, solar sources … EPS announces the largest 100 MW solar park in Kostolac over the next few years. The idea is also to move slowly to the auction system, without incentives.
Moreover, the Ministry of Energy strongly supports the initiative of the President of the Republic and the Ministry of Environmental Protection to ban the construction of small hydropower plants in protected areas, and where possible to meet the highest European standards so as to minimize environmental impact, the Minister of Mining and Energy said.
Fairs are open from 10:00 until 17:00.
The price of a single ticket costs RSD 400.00, ticket for group visits RSD 250.00 (group tickets for students and pupils RSD 150.00), whereas parking shall be charged RSD 150.00 an hour. A ticket for one fair includes the tickets for two other fairs as well.