UNDP is helping energy efficiency in Serbia

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The Ministry of Mining and Energy of Serbia and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) signed an agreement today to provide technical assistance for the energy efficiency project of the central government buildings, which envisages the renovation of 28 buildings, including the Serbian Government, the Serbian Parliament and the Serbian Palace.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Mining and Energy of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic, and the UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia, Francine Pickup.
The project envisages the provision of technical services, preparation of energy certificates for selected buildings for the current condition, preparation of detailed energy audits of buildings, preparation of feasibility studies and preparation of project documentation for energy renovation of buildings in Belgrade, with a total area of 208,000 square meters.
Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic said that the project worth 40 million euros included 28 out of 56 buildings of the central government, and that half of the buildings that will become energy efficient are under state protection, that they are mostly old and consume a lot of energy.
She specified that the project-technical documentation should be completed by March or April next year, while in the second half of 2022, the works should start, and everything must be completed within three years.
“The project means that energy consumption will be reduced by 30 percent, and the emission of harmful gases, primarily CO2, by about 20 percent,” said Mihajlovic.
She stated that the goal of the Government of Serbia is that every decision and project that is contracted must have a positive effect on the protection of the environment and must enable the reduction of emissions of CO2 and other harmful substances into the atmosphere.
“Energy efficiency is a way to make the environment safer, and the state’s goal is to reduce heat consumption by at least 20 to 30 percent in the next few years, and today Serbia consumes 40 percent more heat energy than all EU countries,” she said, stating that there is no reason to “throw out the window the production of a thermal power plant”.
UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia Francine Pickup said that the project is not only important for the state, but also for the citizens, because energy savings reduce dependence on imports and improve national energy security, but also reduce the adverse impact on the environment.
In addition, as she stated, that makes the Serbian economy competitive on the world market.
“In the Western Balkans region, 36 percent of all CO2 emissions are reported to come from public and private buildings. Buildings are also the largest consumers of energy, but when designed or adapted for more efficient energy consumption, buildings represent great potential for energy savings,” she said.
She added that within the project, UNDP and the Ministry of Mining and Energy conducted a study on energy saving in public buildings of the central government.
“The expected reduction in primary energy consumption in these buildings could be 260 million kWh, which is equal to the amount of electricity that the City of Novi Sad, for example, consumes for public lighting over a period of ten years,” she said.
Pickup pointed out that UNDP will promote this project with donors and environmental funds, adding that the project is just a continuation of UNDP’s cooperation with the Government of Serbia.
As specified, the energy renovation of the building of the Government of Serbia, ie the former Palace of the Ministry of Finance and the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the Palace of the President of the Republic, the Palace of Serbia, the business building of the Government of Serbia (SIV 3), the National Assembly of Serbia, the Republic Property Directorate, European integration, the Republic Commission for the Protection of Rights in Public Procurement Procedures, the Anti-Corruption Agency, and the Club of People’s Deputies, as well as a number of buildings belonging to ministries.
The reconstruction and demolition of the High Judicial Council and the State Prosecutors’ Council are planned, as well as the Main Post Office Palace in Belgrade, which houses the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection and the Constitutional Court, the Institute for Nature Protection of Serbia and the Institute for Educational Improvement.
The buildings planned for energy renovation are the Intellectual Property Office, the Republic Agency for Peaceful Settlement of Labor Disputes, the Directorate for Measures and Precious Metals, the Agricultural Land Administration, the Office of the National Council for Coordination of Cooperation with Russia and China, and the Agency for environmental protection.
There are also the Republic Directorate for Commodity Reserves, the Directorate for Electronic Administration, the Administrative Inspectorate, then the building of the Ministry and judicial bodies, the building of the Commissioner for the Protection of Equality and the Payments Administration.
For the realization of energy renovation of buildings, the Government of Serbia and the Ministry of Mining and Energy agreed on a loan of 40 million euros from the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), which was approved by the CEB Board of Directors in November 2019.
The loan was signed by the Minister of Finance of Serbia in March 2020 and ratified by the Assembly of Serbia in November 2020.
It is envisaged that the Energy Efficiency Program of the Central Government will be implemented by the Ministry of Mining and Energy and UNDP, in cooperation with the Directorate for Joint Affairs of the Republic Bodies, Beta reports.