Prevented Construction Of Two Hydropower Plants
Serbia, as a country with a large number of rivers, represents a huge potential for electricity production.
Specifically, in the municipality of Arilje, the spatial plan specifies the locations for the construction of 15 mini-hydropower plants (“MHP”), of which only one is on the Moravica watercourse.
However, for some time now, the Moravica watercourse has become the subject of interest of numerous investors who have launched an initiative to reconsider new locations for the construction of MHP with a capacity of over 100 kW. The possibility of construction, however, is not defined by the spatial plan, but exclusively by the development of a detailed regulation plan. In that way, a decision was made for two investors to build a detailed regulation plan for two MHP, both on the Moravica watercourse.
Numerous organizations, including the Regulatory Institute for Renewable Energy and the Environment (“RERI”), reacted to both mentioned planning acts with remarks and suggestions.
Specifically, RERI pointed out numerous procedural and material omissions of the mentioned drafts, which were, in essence, related to inadequate planning basis, illegality regarding the purpose of issuing conditions of holders of public authorizations and their expiration date, inconsistency of graphic attachments with textual content, incomplete reports on strategic environmental impact assessment, as well as drawing conclusions on incorrectly established facts.
After the processor, to whom the case was assigned, rejected all allegations of RERI, the Commission for Plans of the Municipality of Arilje, after reviewing the presented arguments, determined that the objections were founded.
By not sending the planning acts to the further adoption procedure, the precondition for the construction of the mentioned MHP on the Moravica watercourse has been removed, but only currently.
In the next 60 days, the holder of the plan will be able to use his legal right to submit new drafts to the competent body, which will again be subject to expert control, in accordance with the Law on Planning and Construction.
This is certainly another victory, although small, but certainly, a victory of nature and a healthy environment, to which every citizen has the right guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.