More subsidies for poor households needed to achieve net zero heating

Vulnerable households in the Western Balkans generally cannot afford to renovate or replace old stoves and boilers, even with a 50% subsidy. This is one of the Ne to messages. 0! conference organized by the RES Foundation. Helping people who suffer from energy poverty can boost efforts to eradicate fossil fuels in the sector, achieve net zero emissions and improve air quality.

The second day of Ne to. 0! The event organized by the RES Foundation was devoted to heating improvements that can reduce air pollution to a minimum and reduce net carbon emissions to zero. Speakers said that the energy transition in the sector must be focused on citizens, their well-being and their health.

RES Foundation Program Director Jasminka Young stressed the importance of empowering people in the Western Balkans to participate in the transformation and choose the right heating solutions.

Strict standards, limitations for wood combustion

Fuel poverty is a major challenge as many people cannot afford to renovate their homes and replace obsolete appliances, even with 50% subsidies. Regarding the combustion of wood for heating, participants suggested that the supply of biomass should be sustainable and minimized and that it also involves the use of the most efficient devices, which prevent most gas emissions and of harmful particles.

EBRD’s heating modernization projects do not lead to price increases

District heating needs to become as green as possible, said Bojan Bogdanović (pictured right), senior fund manager for neighborhood renewable energy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. According to him, the most efficient way is to move from charging for the heated surface to users to their consumption, and the best way to start is to facilitate the renovation of the city’s most dismal buildings.

With programs of energy efficiency measures for buildings and the switch to renewable sources of heating, savings in energy consumption can be directed towards the extension of the network, stressed Bogdanović. He said the EBRD is implementing such projects without increasing user bills.

North Macedonia helps households install cleaner appliances

Hristina Odžaklieska, Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning of North Macedonia, said the government is aware that air pollution is a major problem and is carrying out programs to improve heating installations . The local authorities do the same, mainly the capital, Skopje.

Heat pumps are the most economical alternative to gas boilers

Femke de Jong from the European Climate Foundation (ECF) highlighted the results of a study carried out in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Poland that electric heat pumps are the most affordable solution to replace boilers gas. Hybrid devices that also use hydrogen can be competitive in urban areas.

However, the authors warned that reliance on hydrogen in the residential heating industry could never become profitable for consumers.

The civic sector threw air pollution into the political arena

Denis Žiško of the Center for Ecology and Energy in Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, noted that air pollution became a political issue in the city five or six years ago due to the campaign of non-governmental organizations. All political parties included it in their election platforms, he said.

Žiško: quality pellets are exported and the rest are sold and consumed in the Western Balkans

Subsidizing the introduction of pellet stoves is not a good solution, according to iško, who claims that high-quality pellets are exported and the rest are sold and used in the Western Balkans. A study showed that 34% of PM2.5 particles in Tuzla come from biomass, compared to 24% attributed to coal and 20% for transport.

Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia Jørn Eugene Gjelstad noted that he was one of the first countries to introduce a tax for polluters, in 1991, and that it generated revenue for pollution reduction measures. pollution in almost all sectors of the economy.

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