UNDP and GEF partnering with the Government of Montenegro in development of small hydropower sector

10 Jul 2013

imageRemote controlled new age equipment for hydro power plant Jezerstica. Photo: UNDP in Montenegro

Supporting Government in developing renewable energy sector

The EU is experiencing a continuous increase in energy consumption from 1990-2012 with an annual rate of 1,4% increase in average. This is followed by a continuous increase in energy prizes with approx. 20cent EUR/kWh in average for EU-27 countries. Since there are realistic expectations that his trend will continue in the future, the European Energy Community is encouraging its member countries to look into alternative energy sources and to re-investigate their renewable energy potentials. Following that advice, in the last five years, with technical support of UNDP, Montenegro made significant strides in creating a favorable environment for developing renewable energy projects and in increasing the interest of potential investors in renewable energy projects.

Transformation of Montenegro into a Low Carbon Economy

By adopting the Energy Development Strategy in 2007, Montenegro has started working on creation of a positive environment for the development of projects in the field of renewable energy. In 2008, the project “Power sector policy reform to promote small hydropower developments in Montenegro” started its life, implemented by the Ministry of Economy with the support of UNDP and GEF. This project in fact opened the door to new renewable energy projects which will address not only hydro and wind potentials in Montenegro, but will investigate other renewable energy sources such as biomass, solar, biogas, etc.

The Government of Montenegro being committed to decreasing carbon emissions and to creating an enabling environment for swift transformation to a low carbon resource efficient economy, more intensive use of renewable energy sources (RES) and energy efficient technology is an imperative. UN initiatives, such as “Sustainable Energy 4 All”, can help in achieving this goal.

Why is all this important?

Energy is Montenegro’s priority sector for economic development

Country’s economy depends on stable energy supply, and with the increasing energy prizes further economic development towards green economy may be jeopardized if Montenegro doesn’t utilize its renewable energy potential. It will have not only positive effect to decreasing CO2 emissions but it may provide cost savings and opportunities for new employments.

European Progress Report

The achieved progress and the efforts of the Government of Montenegro in securing an enabling environment for development of RES have also been recognized in the last EC Progress Report. Now when the solid ground for further development of RES is built, it will be critical to develop further steps in providing access to green energy for citizens in Montenegro.

Montenegro’s commitments towards European Energy Community

the Energy community opened discussions about the energy market reform, towards allowing citizens, non-household owners and industries to choose their own energy provider, and to give them voice about what type of energy they want – from renewable energy or non-renewable energy sources. Therefore, the European energy community is encouraging its member countries to investigate their RES potential and to prepare their national RES Action plans. Montenegro works on its national RES action plan, and this document will be very important for further development of RES in Montenegro.

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UNDP Montenegro and the Ministry of Economy organized a conference to present the results and lessons learned in the just completed project. Within his presentation "The policies and plans of the Government of Montenegro in the field of renewable energy", representative of the Ministry of Economy Mr. Ivan Bošković announced a new tender for the construction of small hydropower plants in eight streams, of total energy value of about 12.5 megawatts.

UNDP manager of the project "Power Sector Policy Reform to promote small hydropower developments in Montenegro" Ms. Snežana Marstijepović said that its total budget was about $1 million. "This project aimed to assist the Government of Montenegro in creating a favorable environment for the development of renewable energy sources. The Energy Policy of Montenegro defines sustainable energy development, the development of competitive energy market and security of supply as three main priorities of the energy sector. One of main objectives for the achievement of these priorities is to increase the use of renewable energy," Ms. Marstijepović emphasized.

For more details on this project, as well as other activities in the field of renewable energy sources in Montenegro, visit the website of the Ministry of Economy dedicated to renewable energy sources: http://www.oie-res.me/