ConclusionsApril 8, 2022 2022-04-08 15:59
ENERGY SUMMIT BIH 2022 CONCLUSIONS
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the Energy Policy Activity Project (USAID EPA), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the EU Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German government, the British Embassy and under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations, the State Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Regulatory Commission for Energy of RS and the Regulatory Commission for Energy in FBiH organized the Energy Summit in Bosnia and Herzegovina 2022, from March 23-25, in Neum. This year’s Summit was attended by 550 participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Austria, Italy, Spain, Hungary and the United States, while about 350 participants followed the Summit events online. During the three days, six panels, eight technical workshops, a series of working group meetings and numerous other meetings were held, and 25 media outlets accredited their journalists to cover the Summit. The Digital Guide for Investors was presented for the first time to the media; the Guide processed information from more than 140 regulations in a specific method and contains data on more than 50 licenses issued by more than 30 competent institutions in the BiH. The Digital Guide for Investors will make it easier to navigate the permitting process by providing stakeholders with all the necessary information on permits and procedures, and will also facilitate the work of the competent authorities, as investor requirements will be more complete in the future. All this will ultimately help Bosnia and Herzegovina in its energy transition to renewable energy sources and new jobs creation.
Based on the discussions at the Summit, several conclusions can be drawn, as follows:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina must accelerate its energy transition from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy sources in order to join the EU energy policy as soon as possible, which it opted for by signing the Sofia Declaration. This acceleration is necessary because the previously undertaken obligations have not been fulfilled and new ones are being set before the state. During the discussions, international and domestic partners at all levels were invited to work together on the initiatives and actions that will ensure clean and affordable energy for all and accelerate the transition to the “green” solutions.
- This energy transition process requires the development of new strategies, plans, policies and the implementation of legislative reforms at all levels of government. Otherwise, if Bosnia and Herzegovina does not fulfill its commitments, especially in the part related to the taxation of the CO2 emissions for electricity generation from fossil fuels – coal, mechanisms for taxing CO2 emissions at the border with the European Union will be launched, which will have a much broader negative economic effect on Bosnia and Herzegovina. The deadline for the implementation of these activities within Bosnia and Herzegovina is year 2026.
- It is necessary to adopt the missing laws, especially the State Law on Electricity and Natural Gas.
- It is especially important to simplify the procedures for obtaining building permits, which would facilitate private investors’ active participation and role in the transition and reduce the effects of climate change.
- The representatives of the legislative authorities are aware of the dramatic situation in the energy sector, but noted that despite this there is sluggishness and resistance to implementation and the political courage needed for radical change.
- It is necessary to improve communication between the executive and the legislative authorities and experts, which would ultimately allow for well-founded and synchronized action and faster and easier decision-making.
- Insufficient representation of women in the management positions in the energy sector was pointed out and it was concluded that such statistics can be corrected only by systemic solutions. The establishment of an Association of women in the energy sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been announced, which will become an active participant in the energy transition process.
- The commitments made through the adopted NDC, the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, the Decarbonization Roadmap and the NECP (finalized) define the path for the transformation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s energy sector.
- The possibilities of realization of these obligations through the implementation of guarantees of origin (GO), Energy Efficiency Obligation Schemes (EEO) and carbon taxation and sources of financing needed for the construction of infrastructure for electric mobility, active customers – electricity generators and energy efficiency measures were also discussed. It was concluded that this is a key year for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which must regulate the legal framework and start the process of fulfilling the previously taken obligations.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina is supplied with natural gas through only one gas pipeline over 40 years old, and all that gas comes from one source. It is necessary to work on the development of new interconnections and gas infrastructure projects in order to diversify the sources and directions of supply.
- The missing legal framework needs to be adopted in order to fully regulate the gas sector and open the market to new entrants.
- The causes of disturbances in the electricity market are analyzed, with an assessment of the current events and impacts on the end customers, price movements and future trends. The importance of energy security and independence in terms of amortization of market disruptions was emphasized, as well as the need to establish an organized electricity market of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its integration into regional and EU electricity markets. The need to adopt a program to protect vulnerable customers was also emphasized.