In 2022, wind power plants (WPPs) in Bosnia and Herzegovina produced 392 GWh of electricity, which is 2% more than the previous year.
In the Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia and North Macedonia), the total installed wind capacity reached 801 MW, whereby Albania is the only country in Southeast Europe without wind capacity in its production portfolio. Malta is the only EU country without wind power plants.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (BIH) follows the global trend of strong growth in the installed power of solar photovoltaic power plants. According to the preliminary data, the total power of these power plants at the end of 2022 exceeded 100 MW. See more in the article prepared by A.Mujčinagić https://reset.ba/attachments/article/60/PV%20SOLAR%202022_BIH_english_final.pdf:
Energy communities, where citizens, businesses, and local administrations team up to produce energy for self-consumption but also sell it, are the right solution for the Western Balkans to speed up decarbonization and make the energy transition sustainable. The current energy crisis and soaring energy prices are only adding to the significance of energy communities since they can also provide energy security for consumers – a steady supply at affordable prices. Governments should create a regulatory framework to enable energy communities to be established and then leave everything else to local actors, primarily local governments, according to speakers at the conference Citizen Energy Communities/Renewable Energy Communities. These are the main messages from the more than 80 participants present at the venue in Sarajevo.
The additional information you can get on the following link: https://balkangreenenergynews.com/western-balkan-countries-must-create-legal-framework-for-energy-communities-democratize-energy/
Why Conference now?
The entire region is facing problems with energy supply and high prices. At the same time, opportunities and chances have not been used to involve local communities, citizens, and businesses in the process of decarbonization, the construction of renewable energy sources, and thus the increase in energy supply from local sources, which can have a significant effect on the security of supply, energy independence and increased production and consumption of energy from local sources.
In the previous and this year, the countries of the region (Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia and Herzegovina) passed or are in the process of adopting legal and executive regulations that enable local communities, citizens, and businesses to establish citizens energy communities, i.e., renewable energy communities.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republika Srpska and the Brčko District have passed the corresponding laws. They are preparing by-laws, while in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the related regulations are in the draft phase. Given that the entire process is at the beginning, it is necessary to establish a dialogue immediately, exchange positive and negative experiences from countries that have already advanced with this process, and establish long-term cooperation between interested parties for successful and sustainable implementation of energy communities in the region and speed up the whole process, while informing and educating the public about the advantages of energy communities.
Therefore, RESET - Center for Sustainable Energy Transition from Sarajevo and the Heinrich Boll Foundation, together with a media partnership with Balkan Green energy news, decided to organize a one-day conference on this topic with the primary goal of opening a dialogue on this topic and through the conclusions of the meeting, give recommendations and proposals as a whole process to speed up and efficiently and effectively to make citizens energy communities as soon as possible an essential factor in the energy transition and the decarbonization process, especially in a situation where it is already known that problems in energy supply will be present in the following years.
At the conference, in addition to guests from Greece and Croatia who will present experiences from their countries in the implementation of citizens' energy communities, representatives of local communities from BiH, representatives of competent ministries and regulatory agencies for energy, power companies, as well as representatives of the non-governmental sector, international organizations involved in energy transition projects in BiH and representatives of the businesses and financial organizations as well as local experts in the domain of this issue.
The story of the energy transition of meat company Menprom from Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which we present as part the series Energy transition champions in the Western Balkans, is an example of good practice and a beacon of smart energy management, business growth, prudent practices, and environmental and social responsibility.
Highly inefficient in their energy use, consuming several times more energy compared to the EU average, SMEs in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as other countries in the region, are ripe for major changes and improvements in energy management.
Experts agree that well-managed energy streams at SMEs could reduce consumption by an estimated 20-30%.
Well-managed energy streams at SMEs could reduce consumption by 20-30%
With the onset of the energy crisis and rising energy prices, coupled with the targets accepted by countries in the region for greenhouse gas reductions and the Green Agenda implementation, it is clear that work on improving energy efficiency and decarbonizing its business has become a priority for any SME that strives to be competitive and profitable.
Moreover, a responsible attitude to the environment and the local community is becoming an increasingly important part of doing business, and meat company Menprom is proof of that.
Menprom, established in 1990, produces superior deli meats from highest-quality chicken, beef, and turkey, making it one of the leading meatpacking companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Merima Dževdetbegović, deputy CEO of Menprom
“Menprom’s strategic orientation towards renewable energy sources is the result of a great awareness of the importance of one’s own contribution to mitigating climate change. Praises from customers, local partners, and members of the local community, as well as their support when we installed a solar power plant, came as a pleasant surprise that put an additional wind in our sails,” Merima Dževdetbegović, the company’s deputy CEO, says in an interview with Balkan Green Energy News. Merima is a member of the Management Board of Menprom and, together with her father, who founded the company, and her younger sister and brother, has been running the business successfully for 24 years. Menprom is growing continuously, selling its products in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in foreign markets.
Menprom is among 20 companies taking part in one of the best energy transition projects in the Western Balkans at the moment – Energy transition in the industry of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project is implemented by the Regional Center for Sustainable Energy Transition (RESET) with the help of Sweden.
RESET’s team of experts is helping businesses from Bosnia and Herzegovina to introduce energy management as a sustainable mechanism for improving energy efficiency, consumption monitoring, and renewable energy use.
According Damir Kapidžić, one of the experts working on the project and a certified energy auditor and energy manager, RESET tests, improves, and adapts the most cost-effective measures for improving energy efficiency in the small and medium business sector, as part of the overall decarbonization and greening process.
Professor Kušljugić: energy management, energy efficiency measures, and green energy strengthen BiH’s entire economy
At the end of the project, this think-and-do tank (a group of top experts who act as well as think), as they like to call themselves, will recommend policies to be included in the state’s official and systemic support to SMEs in BiH in the energy transition process.
Professor Mirza Kušljugić, an energy expert and one of the RESET founders, says that energy management, energy efficiency measures, and green energy not only help small and medium businesses, but also strengthen the entire economy of BiH.
“With this project, RESET continues its mission to convey the message to businesspeople, citizens, and decision-makers in the region that an energy transition carried out in an organized way would be an opportunity for development, while an unmanaged one would bring about new shocks,” says Professor Kušljugić.
The Tuzla-based meat company, according to Merima Dževdetbegović, embarked on the energy transition process in 2019, when it set up a multidisciplinary team tasked with looking at development needs and opportunities. The management’s ambitions coincided with RESET’s cooperation project with manufacturing firms in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Menprom’s multidisciplinary team, formed in 2019, is working hard to identify development needs and opportunities
Following an energy audit, the company identified possible measures to improve energy efficiency and apply green technologies. Based on prepared conceptual designs, Menprom opted for several smaller measures and three bigger projects: replacing pellets with heat pumps in heating and part of the cooling system, recovering waste heat from meat cooling chambers to be used for sanitary water heating, and installing a solar power plant.
Apart from Menprom’s decision to improve the management of its energy needs, an important part of the process was to monitor and identify tenders and public invitations from both national institutions and international financial institutions, which offered co-financing for businesses to implement green technologies and improve energy efficiency.
In this way, Menprom received assistance from the Tuzla Canton’s Ministry of Spatial Planning and Environmental Protection for a EUR 26,000 project to install heat pumps, of 35 kW for heating and 29 kW for cooling, while the Environmental Protection Fund of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina helped the company implement a EUR 22,000 waste heat recovery project.
As the crowning achievement of Menprom’s work on improving its energy management, a 445 kW solar power plant was put in operation in May this year, with solar panels installed on the administrative building and production facilities.
The solar power plant was built with the financial support of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which provided a loan for the investment, as well as a grant for the interest and part of the principal.
The company estimates the solar power plant will pay off in seven years at the current, regulated electricity prices, and even sooner in case of further price hikes, which demonstrates how timely and well-thought out the investment decision was.
The green power plant is designed to cover up to 30% of the company’s annual electricity consumption.
“Before introducing heat pumps, we used pellets for heating and cooling. We are extremely happy and proud to see that our investment will enable us to achieve significant savings, because we previously used 15 tons of pellets per year,” Dževdetbegović says with pride.
Dževdetbegović: Meatpacking is demanding in terms of energy and water consumption, so we’ve always sought ways to save
In addition to savings due to the high prices of pellets and electricity, Menprom has achieved other important benefits: increasing the energy efficiency of the heating and cooling system, completely avoiding ash and CO2 emissions from the combustion of pellets, and reducing the consumption of water and electricity for sanitary water heating.
Dževdetbegović: We’ve always been guided by the ideas of environmental protection and sustainable resource use
All this, as they say at Menprom, also benefits people in the local community.
Dževdetbegović says that at Menprom they have always been guided by the ideas of environmental protection and sustainable resource use, and that they consider such an approach to business their duty.
“When you’re a family business, you have to take care of everything, and savings are the cornerstone of prudent business. Meatpacking is demanding in terms of energy and water consumption, so we’ve always sought ways to save water, energy, but also paper. Over the past period, we’ve implemented a large number of energy transition and energy efficiency projects, and we want to bring our business closer to the ideal of sustainable development and achieve our long-established goal of transforming Menprom into a leader in the implementation of solutions based on renewable energy sources. The 445kW solar power plant for self-consumption, along with a string of energy efficiency and other projects, is proof that today at Menprom we are no longer talking only about plans, but about projects that are real and under way,” says Dževdetbegović.
Encouraged by the good results in the past three years, Menprom’s management is making plans for further steps. They are announcing an expansion of the solar power plant’s capacity, but also the intention to take an active role in METI, a network of SMEs for the energy transition, whose members will exchange experiences, information, and know-how in energy management.
Menprom uses heat pumps for heating and cooling the administrative building and production facilities
In its energy transition efforts, Menprom also had significant support from Damir Kapidžić. He is their external associate and energy manager, and they share him with other companies which do not need a full-time energy manager, but which have a clear need for his expertise.
With energy transition measures, Menprom has achieved numerous benefits for itself, the local community where it operates, and other firms as well
The concept of “shared energy manager” was also born out of this project. Along with the introduction of regular energy audits and energy management in line with the ISO 50001 Light system, this type of support has proved to be critical for all SMEs in BiH which have yet to take their first steps in the energy transition process.
“Menprom is an ideal example, if there is such a thing, of what RESET wanted to achieve with its project. But it is also an example of how a vision of environmental protection and sustainable resource use helped a family-owned firm, supported by experts, to implement the energy transition, while at the same time achieving numerous benefits for itself, the local community where its operates, and other firms as well,” says Kapidžić.
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