The third industrial revolution is happening, and BiH is turning a blind eye

The two industrial revolutions behind us were also made by the two superpowers of that era.

More precisely, countries that recognized the revolution in technology and science in time and countries that decided to implement innovations in their industrial facilities are still at the top of the world, writes Bloomberg Adria.

In the second half of the 18th century, England became the scene of revolutionary changes in the way of production thanks to a series of technical innovations.

This new system of production fundamentally reshaped social and economic relations not only within England, but throughout Europe.

The first loom changed the way of work in England, switching weaving from manual to mechanical.

This marked the beginning of the factory system of work. Steam power powered machinery, marking the beginning of heavy industry, and coal became the main source of energy until the discovery of oil.

The Second Industrial Revolution, also known as the Technological Revolution, covers the period from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.

This period was characterized by the construction of an extensive railway and telegraph network, which enabled the faster transfer of people and ideas, and the widespread use of electricity. Electrification contributed to the development of modern production lines in factories, which resulted in great economic growth and increased productivity.

Then the United States of America takes over the throne from England.

An instant revolution

“The third industrial revolution is a new industrial revolution based on the use of RES energy, whose marginal cost of production is almost zero, and “raw materials” are easily available everywhere and inexhaustible (solar, wind and partially water), said Damir Miljević , president of the Center for a sustainable energy transition RESET.

“The third industrial revolution is coming, where the forces are fighting over who will decarbonize and switch to RES first ,” he added.

In 2022, China installed one fifth of all installed solar systems in the world (55 GW out of a total of 268 GW) on building roofs alone, as part of a three-year program. According to that program, by the end of 2023, 50 percent of all available surfaces in government facilities must be under solar, 40 percent in schools and hospitals, 30 percent in industrial facilities and 20 percent in rural households.

“Of the 510 GW of new RES installations in the world in 2023, more than 50 percent are installed in China ,” adds Miljević.

“Every third new vehicle sold in China is an electric vehicle. This year, installed solar and wind power plants in China will threaten coal-fired thermal power plants in terms of production (40 compared to 37 percent).” , says. 

Meanwhile, three million heat pumps will be installed in the European Union in 2022.

In 2023, an additional 55,900 MW of solar power will be installed in the EU.

“Last year, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia exceeded 1,000 MW of solar installed,”  he states.

In the Netherlands, 1.7 million households have solar installed on their roofs, and in Germany, over three million.

Bh. lobby

The current position that can most often be heard in the public is that public power companies should be the bearers of the energy transition.

How will the three power companies carry out the energy transition when the city of Gračanica has more solar panels in operation than all three power companies in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“They have more than 5 MW, they put solar panels on the factories. Three power companies do not have 5 MW of solar in operation ,” Miljević points out.

Thermal power plants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, except TE Stanari, operate at a loss, looking at the production price of 1 MWh and the prices paid by households.

Profit is made from the price in export and minuses from domestic consumption are compensated.

“Our response to the energy crisis, in contrast to the Chinese, Americans and Europeans, was that we did not shut down the Tuzla 4 and Kakanj 5 units, as we should have,”  says Miljević.

According to the report of the Energy Community, BiH is the last country to implement the necessary reforms and the only country without an electricity market.

For two days in 2023, the price of electricity on the stock exchanges was negative.

“It will happen that the price of electricity on the European stock exchanges will be negative in the summer period and there will be cannibalization of the market due to the large increase in RES, i.e. solar, in Europe and the world,”  adds Miljević.

The priority, or no regret strategy, should be to install solar panels on roofs wherever possible, said Samir Avdaković from the Institute for Advanced Technologies and Systems Sarajevo. “Such an approach would cover approximately 50 percent of consumption in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

The capacities of the transmission network and load in BiH are not sufficient to solve all the requests for connection without large investments.

“Existing capacities should serve citizens and the economy, not corridors for the export of electricity. Export is the most primitive form of electricity consumption.” , he added.

“Meanwhile, concessions and concession fees are different by government level and are an excellent government mechanism for influencing and collecting money that does not go towards network development ,” said Avdaković.

“In 2022, we, as citizens, paid 25 million and 800 thousand marks in network fees. And they used that money to pay subsidies to the richest people in this country. I wonder if it’s time for us to change that? The network is ours, the consumption is ours, and the focus is completely on another segment,”  Avdaković pointed out and added that the network is a public good.