Where the leaders of energy transition in SEE meet
May 8-9, Hotel Crowne Plaza, Belgrade, Serbia
Energy transition of Southeast Europe - through decarbonization and system integration to climate neutrality and exit from the crisis
The Belgrade Energy Forum 2023, the new conference format of the Balkan Green Energy News portal, will be held on 8 and 9 May 2023 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Belgrade. Built on the success of conferences in 2021 and 2022, as well as on the strong position and reputation of the portal in the region and the world, including the centers of political, economic and financial decision-making, BEF 2023 will be the place where the leaders of energy transition of Southeast Europe meet.
Like the rest of Europe, the region has faced a serious energy crisis further fueled by geopolitical frictions and rising inflation. BEF 2023 will discuss the most pressing energy challenges of the region: how to successfully implement the energy transition to a low-carbon economy, in accordance with the EU Green Agenda principles, decarbonize the energy and other sectors, integrate electricity markets into the regional and European ones in times of nationalism and protectionism voices getting louder, and provide technologies and capital needed for a secure supply of the region.
BEF 2023 will bring together decision-makers from the region, Europe and the world, leading investors in the energy sector, financial institutions, consulting firms, technology manufacturers, the world’s most famous companies for innovative services and digital solutions, and non-governmental organizations. All members of the first league of the region’s energy transition, or those who aspire to join it, will be in Belgrade on 8 and 9 May.
Secure your place in time as a participant or partner and be part of the most important energy event in the region for 2023.
Speakers at events 2021/2022
H.E. Urs Schmid
8th May 2023
08:00 – 09:00
Registration and welcoming coffee
08:50 – 09:00
Statements for the media
09:05 – 09:30
09:30 - 11:00
Energy system of Southeast Europe – strategies for overcoming the crisis
The energy map of Southeast Europe (SEE), as in the rest of Europe, is changing significantly and rapidly due to global geopolitical turmoil, the energy crisis, and the imperative of decarbonization, primarily of energy but also other sectors. In political and economic terms, the region stands in two columns. In the first column are member states of the European Union, with all membership benefits, including substantial financial support for energy investments. The second one are the countries of Western Balkans as contracting parties of the Energy Community, with limited access to finance, the problem of dilapidated thermal power plants, and the obligation to abandon coal. Yet, both groups share a common goal – to ensure the security of the energy supply and successfully implement the energy transition.
Which strategies do decision-makers from the region see as winning for getting out of the crisis and what do they envisage is the first panel’s topic.
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 12:00
12:00 – 13:30
Regional electric utilities in energy transition – a transformation toward green megawatts
Decarbonization of electricity companies from SEE, especially those in the Western Balkans, and their gradual transformation into modern energy entities that ensure a stable supply of carbon-neutral electricity to customers is one of the pillars of the region’s successful energy transition. Can the utilities independently carry out the transformation and build new capacities to produce green megawatt-hours, or do they need to partner with private investors for this undertaking? What models are currently in play, and what do they entail?
13:30 – 14:30
14:30 – 16:00
Modern technologies for sustainable heating and cooling
Decarbonization and the application of modern technologies are prerequisites for the sustainability of remote heating and cooling systems. Applying solar thermal and geothermal energy, heat pumps, biomass, and industrial waste heat reduces air pollution and GHG emissions. In the current intense energy crisis, locally available energy sources ensure the security of supply and increase the affordability of district heating and cooling services for end users. How will the SEE region make the best use of the possibilities of decarbonization of remote energy and reducing dependence on expensive fossil fuels is a question that will be addressed by the leading experts in this field in the region.
16:00 – 17:30
Market design – is the current electricity market model sustainable?
The energy transition and the crisis caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine disturbed global energy and electricity markets. This especially applies to Europe. Resolving the situation and establishing a new sustainable state is still not in sight. Is the current model of electricity market design sustainable or should it be changed? Do state interventions violate some basic free market postulates and the target model of a single European market? In which direction will markets develop? What is the priority: energy independence or energy transition?
17:30 – 18:30
9th May 2023
08:30 – 09:00
09:00 - 10:30
Four challenges for an increased share of renewable energy sources in the region
In the last few years, the region has achieved significant results in the production of electricity from renewable sources. However, investments in green kilowatts remain modest compared to global trends. Records are broken by Greece and Turkey, while the Western Balkan countries still need help with problems such as obtaining permits, equipment procurement, incomplete regulation, unclear market entry and balancing models, and an increased appetite for financing. What should the region’s countries and all participants in the supply chain do for investors to deliver more green energy to the grid? The main trends in renewable energy sources and the best practices will be discussed by leading experts on a panel that always attracts great interest.
10:30 – 11:00
11:00 – 11:30
11:30 – 13:00
A renaissance of nuclear energy in the region – from conventional to modular reactors
We are witnessing a renaissance of nuclear energy in the world. Nuclear energy is also present in SEE – half of Hungarian and a third of Bulgarian and Slovenian electricity comes from nuclear power plants. On the other hand, the region’s energy sector is under pressure to abandon fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which creates a need for new capacities to compensate for lower electricity production from thermal power plants.
Is nuclear energy the answer to this challenge? Can it contribute to energy security and climate neutrality of the region? Also, it is necessary to look at which technologies are optimal solutions for SEE countries, as well as the problem of security and nuclear waste. Politicians from the region announced possible cooperation on projects to build new nuclear capacities. Have concrete steps followed?
13:00 – 14:00
14:00 – 15:30
Technologies for carbon neutrality by 2050
The European Union aims to become climate neutral by 2050. It is expected that by then, the entire SEE will be part of the Union. While renewable sources, energy efficiency, and nuclear energy are part of the green agenda for achieving climate neutrality, other technologies and approaches are also needed. Among the favourites are hydrogen as an energy carrier, waste management and biogas, reversible hydropower plants, and electrochemical energy storage. The panel will discuss the most promising technologies for achieving carbon neutrality and identify the leaders in their implementation.
16:00 – 17:30
Flexibility and digitalization for distributed energy production and consumption
The energy system of Southeast Europe is rapidly moving away from centralized production and consumption towards a decentralized system. With an increasing number of renewable energy power plants, prosumers, electric vehicles and electricity storage systems, the need to integrate these sources into the system is growing, which will ensure system balancing and improve its reliability in real-time.
Find out how digitalization and platforms for improving flexibility (aggregators, virtual power plants) can help the optimization of new distributed energy sources, integration of new green power plants, and improvement of efficiency of the energy system, as well as its decarbonization.
17:30 – 18:00
Our team at your service
Balkan Green Energy News
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We look forward to seeing you in Belgrade!
Secure your seat at the most important energy conference in SEE this year