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Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Make systemic decisions regarding the construction of missing infrastructure

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In order to create the infrastructure prerequisites for a new investment cycle of several billion euros that would significantly boost economic development, it is necessary to make systemic decisions about the construction of missing energy infrastructure, stated economist Goran Jevrić.

He questioned whether Montenegro needs a more concrete incentive than the mentioned example, often unfairly neglected or “forgotten,” demonstrating the not insignificant benefits that citizens, the tourism industry, and the state have experienced since 2010 after resolving the decades-long challenge of infrastructure in the water sector on the Montenegrin coast.

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“In contrast, it is realistic to expect that a certain number of the 30 solar power plants for which urban-technical conditions (UTC) have been issued will not be realized, with the potential withdrawal of other investors for the construction of renewable energy plants, precisely due to missing infrastructure prerequisites and challenges such as grid connection,” Jevrić stated in his authored text.

According to him, to solve the challenge facing investors in new energy facilities, Montenegro needs to build infrastructure that generates a new investment cycle, and the construction of this infrastructure can take a decade.

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“In this regard, the support of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is significant. They have bankers and experts with experience like Radoslav Ralević and others, who have been directly involved in all phases of the construction of the Regional Water Supply (RWS) and other projects. The announcement of the first auction for renewable energy sources (RES) next year and the established partnership between the Ministry of Energy and Mining and EBRD can be an important incentive in that direction, along with the adoption of the RES Law in line with the revised RES Directive,” said Jevrić.

Solar power plants, as he explained, cannot be connected to the grid until investors sign a grid connection agreement with the Montenegrin Electric Distribution System (CEDIS) for the distribution network, or with the Montenegrin Electric Transmission System (CGES) for the transmission network, because Article 218c of the Spatial Planning and Construction Act implies grid connection by obtaining UTC.

“Also, since solar and wind power plants belong to so-called unstable energy sources, their sustainable operation requires balancing with stable energy systems of uniform production,” Jevrić noted.

This means, as he said, that to connect new power plants with a capacity of four gigawatts (GW), it is necessary not only to increase network capacities by building power lines 400kV Čevo – Pljevlja and other power lines of different voltage levels (220 kV, 110 kV, etc.) according to the Updated Plan for the Development of the Transmission System of Montenegro but also to build several hundred million euros worth of large hydropower plants.

“Montenegro has proven the importance of infrastructure prerequisites for economic development when, in 2010, it solved the decades-long problem of the lack of drinking water in the six coastal municipalities. This confirmed the correctness of the vision of the importance of systematically solving infrastructure prerequisites in a specific case in the water sector,” reminded Jevrić.

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