Representatives of the Investment Agency and NGOs The Nature Conservancy and Eko-team signed a Memorandum of Cooperation today, with the aim of creating the starting points for joint work on mapping optimal locations for the development of solar and wind power plants at the national level.
The goal is to do all this with minimal impact on nature and people.
Director of the program for Southeast Europe at The Nature Conservancy, Dragana Mileusnić, said that Montenegro has significant potential for using wind and solar energy.
– Therefore, the basic motivation for mapping the optimal locations for the construction of solar and wind power plants is to speed up the use of these forms of energy in the country in a sustainable way, and thus significantly contribute to the process of energy transition as well as the country’s energy security – stated Mileusnić.
As stated in the Eco-team statement, the optimal location of sites for the development of solar and wind power plants includes the principles of environmental and social protection.
– Therefore, efforts are being made to speed up the application of solar and wind technologies on already repurposed and degraded lands and other places where there are no significant conflicts with other uses or directions of development, thus avoiding court cases and delays in the implementation of projects based on environmental and social reasons – it is stated in announcement.
The Acting Director of the Investment Agency, Goran Strahinja, said that this institution is dedicated to the promotion of investments in the sector of renewable energy sources and tracing Montenegro’s path to energy transition and green economy.
– Through the project of mapping optimal locations at the national level for the construction of solar and wind power plants, the state will have the opportunity to direct investors to those locations that have a high development and economic potential, and a low risk potential for the environment, agricultural land, tourist zones and cultural heritage, while in which the public interest will be fully protected – explained Strahinja.
In order for this type of energy projects to be sustainable, it is necessary for potential locations to meet certain ecological, economic, social and technical criteria, that is, to enable high performance power plants with minimal costs and minimal negative impact on the environment.
On the one hand, it is necessary to preserve resources for food production, biodiversity and the visual quality of the area, and on the other hand, to position power plants in zones with high potentials of wind and solar radiation, near the existing power grid, roads, places of consumption.
The approach to mapping optimal locations for the construction of solar and wind power plants will be based on the already tested methodology used by The Nature Conservancy in other countries of Southeast Europe as well as in the United States of America (USA) and India.
The executive director of Eko-team, Milija Čabarkapa, said that they want to show that through smart mapping of locations for the development of solar and wind power plants, and with the cooperation of institutions and civil society, it is possible to come up with a solution that is both attractive for investors and that protects public interest.
– This is the only way to ensure ecologically and socially acceptable development of the electrical energy system of Montenegro, which is in the spirit of the constitutional determinations as a state of ecological and social justice – Čabarkapa concluded.