The project BioVill

Overview of mobilized measures for renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in households
  • {{"article.by"|translate}} Vasil Bozhikaliev
  • {{"article.posted"|translate}} 04-04-2018

The project BioVill

Overview of mobilized measures for renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in households


The BioVill project [1], as part of the EU’s Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020, advocates for installation of modern heating systems based on bioenergy, in particular biomass, and other renewable energy sources as well as implementation of energy efficiency measures in buildings. The overall objective of the BioVill project is to support the development of regional bioenergy concepts and the establishment of bioenergy villages in Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. In Macedonia, the pilot municipality is Kichevo. Besides developing a concept for a small-scale biomass district heating system in Kichevo, the BioVill project is also fostering individual (in-house) heating systems, for households that cannot be connected to a district heating system due to their remoteness.

The modern and energy efficient in-house biomass heating systems (biomass boilers and ovens), are using wood fuels such as firewood, wood chips or pellets, and also briquettes, and run completely automatic. This increases the comfort for the owner and the heating system works according to current needs. Only ash must be deposited manually, but only once a month or even several months. Compared to outdated systems a lot of fuel and costs can be saved and the modern, good looking oven amortizes within reasonable time. The installation of buffer storages increases the efficiency of the system additionally. Furthermore, modern biomass heating systems can be easily combined with other renewable energy systems e.g. solar thermal systems or heat pumps which support the hot water preparation throughout the year. Due to local production and consumption of wood fuels, in-house bioenergy heating systems offer the opportunity to strengthen the local economy and reduces at the same time the dependency on imported fossil fuels, thus alleviating the environmental impacts. [2]
Nowadays, several financial and non financial support schemes and incentives for such in-house heating systems based on renewable energy sources and for energy efficiency measures in buildings can be seen in Macedonia, as overviewed below. Hence, most recent national program, adopted by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, is the Program for promotion of renewable energy sources and stimulation of energy efficiency in households for 2018 [3], which determines the manner, conditions, criteria and procedure for allocation of funds from the 2018 national budget. Funds in the total amount of 50 million MKD (around 812,000 EUR) will be used in 2018 for reimbursement of part of the costs for purchased and built-in: a) solar thermal collector systems in households up to 30%, but not more than 300 EUR per household, in the amount of 6 million MKD (around 98,000 EUR); b) PVC or aluminium windows in households up to 50%, but not more than 500 EUR per household, in the amount of 30 million MKD (around 487,000 EUR); c) pellet stoves up to 50%, but not more than 500 EUR per household, in the amount of 14 million MKD (around 227,000 EUR). The subsidies are allocated by the Ministry of Economy and the reimbursement is executed according to the principle “first come first served”. The public calls for households are open until the 31st August 2018. Citizens should fill out an application form that can be taken from the Ministry’s archive or downloaded from the Ministry’s website. Evidence in original form is required to confirm that the purchase has been made.
Similarly, the City of Skopje that unites ten municipalities, in order to encourage the households to use renewable energy sources for heating that minimize environmental pollution and mitigate climate change, in the last years, announces public calls for subsidizing purchase of pellet stoves for households that do not have connection to the district heating system of the city. The subsidies are up to 70%, but not more than 500 EUR. After being selected, households have 15 days to purchase and install the stove and a commission conducts an on-site inspection. [4]
Following the example of the City of Skopje, the Municipality of Bitola also offered reimbursement for purchasing pellets stoves in the amount of 20,000 MKD (around 325 EUR) per household or in the total amount of 6 million MKD (around 97,500 EUR) allotted from the municipal budget, in a public call opened in 2017. [5]
The target community in the project, the municipality of Kichevo, does not provide incentives for in-house heating systems, nor has adopted a program for energy efficiency of the municipality so far. However, in the annual Program for support of the local economic development of the municipality for 2018 [6], an amount of 500,000 MKD (around 8,100 EUR) is allocated for affirmation of projects that contribute to energy saving, utilization of renewable energy sources, and environmental protection.
On the other side, non-financial measures are as much as important as the financial measures. The Joint Stock Company “Macedonian Power Plants - ELEM”, as the largest state-owned electricity producer in the country, on its official website placed a calculator for estimating the monthly and yearly electricity consumption / costs of a household [7]. Citizens can enter the number of specific devices and the time they use them in a day, and oversee their average electricity consumption / costs. Additionally, the electricity distribution system operator “EVN”, has established an Energy Efficiency Platform [8] in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and the Energy Agency of the Republic of Macedonia. Within the platform, a TV show called “Energy Alphabet” educates the citizens about the power system and the importance of the energy efficiency, whilst an on-going TV show named “Energy Mathematics” teaches the end users about the way and amount of consumed energy and how, through change of habits and small investments, large energy savings are possible. Billboards, activities on social media, prize-winning games on Facebook, episodes of the shows available on YouTube, are included in the platform.
One can conclude that the awareness raising campaigns and activities that would induce changes in the behaviour of all of us, are the first step towards protection of the environment and the climate. Then, the actual implementation of energy efficiency measures that would decrease the energy consumption in buildings while all needs are still satisfied, and the utilization of renewable energy sources in efficient energy systems, shall follow up. That is the reason why the municipalities in Macedonia are recommended to mobilize different types of measures, to pursue their own Energy Efficiency programs and to allocate funds from their budgets for such activities and incentives for their residents. Finally, the citizens shall apply to the public calls and use the opportunities given by their municipality or the Government.


References:
[1]    http://www.biovill.eu/
[2]    http://www.biovill.eu/results/biovill-publications-en/
[3]    http://www.economy.gov.mk/doc/2370
[4]    http://skopje.gov.mk/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabindex=0&tabid=775
[5] http://www.bitola.gov.mk/%D1%98%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%B5%D0%BD-%D0%BF%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B8%D0%BA-%D0%BF%D0%B5%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%82%D0%B8-2017/
[6]    https://kicevo.gov.mk/townpress/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Programa_za_podrska_na_LER_Opstina_Kicevo_2018.pdf
[7]    http://www.elem.com.mk/wp-content/themes/vega/calculator/calculator.php?lang=mk
[8]    https://www.evn.mk/Mediumi/Energetska-matematika.aspx



Vasil Bozhikaliev

Vasil Bozhikaliev is a Young Researcher at the International Centre for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems - Macedonian Section (SDEWES Skopje) and a Master’s student at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies in Skopje. He has participated in the preparation of the Second Biennial Update Report on Climate Change of the Republic of Macedonia towards the UNFCCC and is currently working on two EU Horizon 2020 projects, BioVill and CoolHeating.

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