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Montenegro’s drive towards sustainability: Navigating economic development through renewable energy

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The entire world is awaiting a global energy transformation, and Montenegro must follow global trends to avoid being trapped in conventional energy sources, emphasized Ivana Vojinović, the director of the Center for Climate Change at UDG.

She spoke at a panel titled “Sustainable Energy and Economic Development: How Renewable Energy Contributes?” held at the European House. Bojan Đordan, Executive Manager of the Production Department at EPCG, stated that science recognizes the human factor as the main cause of climate change, and efforts should be made to address it.

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“Montenegro is a country that has not fully utilized its hydropower potential. Hydropower is essential if we want to emerge with the least vulnerability from the use of fossil fuels,” Đordan noted.

As Vojinović emphasized, climate change creates significant economic losses in affected countries, but renewable energy sources are conditional. “Climate change has surpassed us because it causes droughts. Relying on hydropower is also a matter of security,” said Vojinović.

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At the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant, 40 to 50 percent of the total electricity production in Montenegro is generated. “Unfortunately, we haven’t had new energy sources for a long time. Efforts are being made to minimize the negative impact of the Thermal Power Plant without compromising the country’s energy security,” said Đordan. He added that the social aspect of the issue should not be overlooked because the transition must be fair.

He believes that the first questions to be answered are what will happen to people whose life is tied to such a lifestyle. Aleksandra Kiković, the head of the UNDP Green and Inclusive Growth team, said that green energy brings green jobs, and efforts should be made to prepare the economy and the local community for business and life opportunities independent of coal.

“We need to invest in creating new green jobs and a qualified workforce. We can have a nursery of young people who can make a huge contribution to all these processes,” Kiković stated.

A fair green transition involves reducing dependence on fossil fuels through a lengthy but potentially successful process if managed wisely. “Young people, energy entities, the academic community, decision-makers, the European Union, and foreign partners who will support the process are necessary,” said Kiković.

As Đordan announced, Montenegro will soon have a new wind farm near Nikšić, significantly reducing the share of the Thermal Power Plant. “In addition to production, we must learn how to use energy if we want to undergo transformation,” Đordan added.

The panel, titled “Sustainable Energy and Economic Development: How Does Renewable Energy Contribute?” was held as part of the “Let’s Start Clean Energy” campaign organized by the European House in collaboration with the Youth Association Step with Science on behalf of the Delegation of the European Union in Montenegro.

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