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As it began, the year 2022 is also ending, in the wake of the energy crisis - Serbia Business

As it began, the year 2022 is also ending, in the wake of the energy crisis

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As it began, the current year 2022 is also ending, in the wake of the energy crisis, the consequences of which have led to a decline in the standard of living of the citizens of Serbia.

The sudden and enormous price increases of energy sources, such as oil, gas, electricity and others, were largely influenced by the corona virus pandemic, which dealt a severe blow to the energy sector at the global level, but it turned out to be only a “drop in the ocean” after On February 24, Russia began a military intervention in Ukraine that is still ongoing.

The tectonic disruption in the energy sector led to an unprecedented economic crisis, the likes of which have not been seen on the territory of Europe since the end of the Second World War.

An additional jump in energy prices on the world stock markets was caused by the sanctions of Western countries on the import of Russian oil and gas and Moscow’s countermeasures, which include the interruption of the supply of “blue energy” to all countries from which Russia expects to pay for it in rubles, and the ban on the export of Russian “black gold”. to countries that limit its cost

Serbia faced energy shocks in practice already at the end of last year when, due to insufficient amounts of coal, the Electric Power Company of Serbia was unable to produce enough electricity, and the country’s power system collapsed. At the same time, EPS was faced with the need for emergency import of electricity, during the winter when its price is the highest, which greatly burdened the company’s budget and led it into debt.

The reason for the collapse of the system was the incompetent management of the company by incompetent officials, led by Milorad Grčić, the director of EPS, who was forced to resign due to the shortage of coal and electricity, the interventional import of electricity and a series of accidents in the company.

How much damage was caused to EPS by unprofessional party management is best shown by the fact that from the end of last year to September of this year, that company spent around 1.5 billion euros, and by the end of the current heating season, which will end on April 15, 2023, more will be spent so many.

If Serbia had not spent so much money on importing electricity, it could have built two large power plants for that amount. Only in the winter season 2021-22. our country paid as much as 1.65 billion euros for the import of natural gas and electricity. The lack of those two energy sources was a tribute to the inexpert management of public companies in the energy sector, and the high price of electricity and “blue energy” on the market was a consequence of the corona virus pandemic and the war in Ukraine.

Instead of providing sufficient gas reserves and producing sufficient amounts of electricity from domestic resources, so as to earn something like that in the economic crisis, Serbia was forced to import those energy sources that were paid for “in a lump sum”.

The tribute due to the inadequate management of the domestic energy sector was usually paid by the consumers. Not only was taxpayers’ money from the budget used to purchase the necessary energy sources, but all retail prices of energy sources were also increased, impoverishing citizens’ household budgets and lowering their quality of life.

Thus, the price of electricity for households rose by 8.3 percent on September 1, and the price of gas increased by nine percent as of August 1. The price of electricity for the economy was increased twice, the first time from January 1 to 75 euros per megawatt hour and the second from September 1 to 95 euros per megawatt hour. Of course, both times the businessmen transferred the increase in electricity prices to the prices of their products and services, which affected the massive growth of all other prices and the increase in the inflation rate.

The increase in the prices of oil and oil derivatives on the world market forced the Government of Serbia to limit the maximum retail prices of fuel and pellets so that these energy sources would be sufficient for the needs of domestic consumers.

What the citizens of Serbia already know is that the end of the calendar year 2022 will not mean the end of the energy crisis and the constant increase in the prices of energy products, but also of all the basic necessities of life.

So it is already known that from January 1, 2023, the price of electricity for households will be increased by 8.5 percent and for the economy by 102.6 euros per megawatt hour. Given that the Government of Serbia, for the sake of signing a financial arrangement with the International Instant Fund, committed to two more electricity price increases in the coming year, experts predict that its price will increase by another 20 percent.

The price of gas will be 11 percent higher for consumers from January 1. It is certain that in 2023 there will be additional price increases for other energy sources. In other words, citizens unfortunately cannot hope for a quick end to the energy crisis in the New Year, but only wish that its negative effects will at least not be greater than those manifested during the outgoing year, Danas writes.