The EU energy direct budget support package for Montenegro, worth €30 million, was officially launched at a ceremony in Podgorica on March this year. These funds are being used to help the most vulnerable groups in Montenegro to cope with the higher living costs caused by the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, but also to facilitate the country’s transition to green energy. As part of the regional package of one billion Euros meant to support our Western Balkans partners in tackling the energy situation and high prices caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, Montenegro has received a fast-tracked €27 million, while the total value of the direct budget support package for Montenegro is €30 million. The disbursement of these funds includes direct monetary compensation of electricity bills for families receiving social benefits and as an only way to ensure long-term sustainability energy supply-investment in renewables and increasing of energy efficiency.
Besides the direct budget support, the EU energy support package also includes the second part, consisting of grants to advance the Western Balkans’ energy transition, efficiency, and independence in the short- and medium-term. One of the initiatives in Montenegro that includes support by the Second part of Energy package is the project “Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Public Buildings – Greening Public Infrastructure in Montenegro” in the administrative, social, and educational sectors implemented by the Ministry of Capital Investments of Montenegro. The objective is to improve energy efficiency in selected public buildings, which will contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC). In addition, renewable energy (e.g. solar energy or bioenergy) should be used where possible. The project is implemented as part of The Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP).
Overseeing the project is Djordjina Lovric, acting as the project manager on behalf of the Ministry of Energy and Mining of Montenegro. She underscores the project’s profound significance for Montenegro’s public buildings. “Currently, we are executing renovation work on three schools that were built in the 1960s. Our initial estimates indicate that these schools will achieve energy savings of up to 50%,” Djordjina states. She goes on to emphasize that, apart from the economic benefits, the project’s interventions will also play a crucial role in reducing CO2 emissions, thereby contributing to environmental preservation and enhancing the overall comfort levels of students and teachers in these educational institutions.
By enhancing the energy efficiency of public buildings, these investments are aligned with the commitments outlined in Montenegro’s Law on the Efficient Utilization of Energy, which is modelled on EU directives. This initiative will result in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, thereby contributing to the achievement of the nation’s predetermined goals in environmental conservation. Furthermore, these investments will play a role in job preservation and generation within the domestic construction and consultancy sectors.
Mrs. Djordjina Lovric elaborates on the widespread recognition and evident advantages offered by the project to schools and other institutions. “Schools operate with a fixed annual budget, and in addition to the various benefits, they will also have the opportunity to allocate the financial surplus generated through energy savings for other purposes. This could include acquiring new equipment, computers, and other resources aimed at elevating the educational standards within these institutions,” Djordjina highlights.
About the project
The Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP) was established in 2013, by the EBRD jointly with the European Commission, the Energy Community Secretariat, WBIF and bilateral donors. The programme blends policy support with loans, technical assistance and incentives to support energy efficiency and renewable energy investments in the public and private sectors in the Western Balkans. The EBRD and the KfW implement the programme, which operates both directly and through intermediaries and is an investment flagshipof the Economic and Investment Plan. Since its inception, the integrated package offered through REEP has reached 1,000 SMEs, over 12,700 households and 290 public buildings across 700 cities and towns. Related investments translate into 842,000 MWh/year energy saved, 540,000 tCO2/year emissions avoided and 120 MW renewable energy capacity installed. Up to end 2021, REEP mobilised €630 million in total investment, with €78.8 million in EU grant contribution. In 2022, REEP received replenishment of €102 million in additional EU grant funding through the Energy Support Package.
Photo credits: WBIF
Please wait while your video is being uploaded...Don't close this window!