The 8th day of Dokufest brought to visitors another interesting panel focused on energy, environment, and the future of the Balkans .
The panel was moderated by Visar Azemi from Balkan Green Foundation who gave a short introduction on the reserves of coal in the Western Balkans.
Mr. Jan Axel Voss from German Embassy explained the steps Germany has taken to become the champion in energy renewal. He stated: “Formally it all started in 1991 with the first act for energy renewal. We realised that our energy production was killing our forests so we decided to act.” He continued by explaining the benefits Germany has gained by turning to renewable energy: “There were many benefits such as money saving, energy independence, opening of new jobs with 300.000 jobs only in 2015, health benefits and finally climate benefits.”
Rinora Gojani from KOSID (Kosovo Civil Society Consortium for Sustainable Development) noted that the main problem of the region is that the “region is not ready…since we are still in the process of changing mentality.” Another concern noted by Gojani is the fact that “Kosovo has been using only 3% of renewable energy, more precisely hydropower, and when it comes to solar energy the use of it in Kosovo is near 0%.” One of the main concerns she raised was the fact that when it comes to renewable energy “Kosovo has only fulfilled 17.7% out of 25% of requirements for renewable energy and, as such, we cannot fulfil the rest until 2020 when the final deadline is.”
Aleksandar Macura from RES Foundation in Serbia pointed out that “the conditions that brought us to the energy system we know are long gone and as such we need to turn to new sources of energy.” However, he noted that a transition to renewable energy is happening in Kosovo; however, it is occurring rather slowly. Macura concluded that “If nothing else, we will face external shocks which will make us change.”
When asked about a regional approach to renewable energy, Macura answered that a “regional approach is not possible without trust, so building trust is important for transition to renewable energy.”
The panel ended with closing remarks from all three panellists and with an interesting idea of Jan Axel Voss – “Germany is a champion for renewable energy but not for efficiency, so maybe Kosovo can have that role and be an international championship for energy efficiency.”