The Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy organised a public hearing with the topic: Presentation of the Bill on Use of Renewable Energy Sources, Bill on Energy Efficiency and Rational Energy Use, Bill amending and modifying the Energy Law and the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Mining and Geological Research.
In his introductory speech, National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dacic pointed out that that, in its current mandate, the National Assembly is greatly focused on considering legislative drafts in public hearings, which he considers to be good practice that largely helps the Assembly and MPs obtain important information and hear the views of a wide range of interested parties, and ultimately make the best decision.
"These are perhaps the most important regulations considered by this National Assembly legislature, and I daresay, in the long term as well," said Dacic, adding that these bills regulate matters in areas of strategic, national importance, and he is therefore convinced that their assessment and the discussion on the solutions they propose, in this type of forum, is more than welcome.
Prof. Dr Zorana Mihajlovic, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy, presented the proposed laws on the public hearing’s agenda: Bill on Use of Renewable Energy Sources, Bill on Energy Efficiency and Rational Energy Use, Bill amending and modifying the Energy Law and the Bill amending and modifying the Law on Mining and Geological Research.
She said that the draft laws, which the MPs are scheduled to discuss at the Eighth Session of the First Regular Session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia, are, first and foremost, harmonised with European standards, and are at the same time aimed at providing a good investment conducive to employee growth. According to the Minister, these laws represent the starting point to move from words to deeds, i.e. they are supposed to launch the process of energy transition in the field of energy and mining. It is precisely these four bills that should enable us to talk about decarbonisation and lead to climate-neutral development in the coming period.
To ensure energy safety and security, Serbia must take into account several different routes, all under the umbrella of decarbonisation and energy transition. The first is the production of electricity and heat from renewable energy sources, the second concerns mining and geological research and the third increase in energy efficiency, i.e. rational energy use.
She pointed out that the proposed laws had gone through a round of debates and procedures, which representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, relevant international institutions and the public took active part in.
She especially emphasised the importance of the Bill on Energy Efficiency and Rational Energy Use, which aims to reduce the production of electricity from fossil energy sources and solve the issue of underground coal exploitation. One novelty introduced by this Bill concerns the installation of solar panels on every building, company, house, sports and factory hall, to ensure an increased production of green energy and reduce the cost of “noble” electric power obtained from dirty energy sources. The Bill will also attract both state and private investments.
Mihajlovic said that the plan is to boost the share of energy and mining in GDP from today's total of 5.5% to between 7 and 9% in the next five years.
State Secretaries in the Ministry of Mining and Energy Jovanka Atanackovic and Zoran Lakicevic, as well as Assistant Ministers of Mining and Energy Zoran Ilic and Dejan Milijanovic, spoke about the bills as well, and the attending were also addressed by Milos Kuzman from the CONVENT Working Group for Negotiation Chapter 15 and Aleksandar Macura on behalf of the RES Foundation.
In his closing remarks, Committee Chairman Veroljub Arsic pointed out that this set of laws aims to protect Serbia and its population from the destruction of non-renewable natural resources and to prevent the pollution of the environment we live in. "I am sure that with these laws, when they come into force, we will contribute primarily to the life and health of our citizens and their quality of living. We secure stable energy efficiency for the economy and continue the unhindered development and reconstruction of the Republic of Serbia, without polluting the environment or polluting it to a much lesser extent than we have so far.” He added that these processes will take time and the ultimate goal will not be achieved easily, but these laws are a good start, plus they would be economically viable and thus contribute to a higher standard of living.
The Committee Chairman concluded the public hearing and discussion at Committee sitting, and the Committee members will rule on the set of laws on Tuesday, 13 April 2021, at noon, in the continuation of the 11th sitting of the Committee on the Economy, Regional Development, Trade, Tourism and Energy.