- September 10, 2021
On September 10, 2021, Aspen Institute Germany hosted an online discussion on “Energy Transition in Serbia – How to Ensure Social Justice and Sustainability?”. Frank Aletter, Managing Board Member, German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Mirjana Jovanović, Programme Manager for Energy, Climate, and Environment, Belgrade Open School, and Sonja Risteska, Project Manager Southeast Europe, Agora Energiewende, shared their assessments of the state of energy transition in Serbia, a country that heavily relies on coal as its main energy source and has no plan for a coal phaseout. However, if Serbia wishes to become a member of the EU, they will have to start aligning with the standards and conditions laid out in the European Green Deal. The discussion was moderated by Viktoria Palm, Senior Program Officer, Aspen Institute Germany.
Energy transformation in Serbia faces several problems. There is a lack of public debate among the population, information in the media, and political strategy, and limited political will in the government. However, it was emphasized that holding on to coal-fired power plants for too long would bring economic disadvantages and that the costs of transformation would increase (technology and health costs) the longer Serbia waited. During the discussion, the EU was called to support energy transformation through funding and knowledge sharing. However, it is in the hands of the Serbian government to promote renewable energies. Only they can determine which projects should be implemented to promote the sustainable development of the economy and the protection of the environment.
The virtual discussion was part of the Aspen Berlin Policy Hub for think tanks from the Western Balkans, a project funded by the Open Society Foundations and the Federal Press Agency.