"If there are to be problems, may they come during my life-time so that I can resolve them and give my children the chance of a good life."

Kenyan proverb

"History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives"

Abba Eban

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."

The Report of the U.N. Brundtland Commission, Our Common Future, 1987

Under the patronage:


Panel: Country Readiness for Energy Transition


Dr. Mirza Kušljugić


Strategic energy and climate policies of the EU are contained in the EU Green Deal plan. For non-member states of Southeast Europe (SEE) the EU is preparing the EU Green Agenda for the Western Balkans (WB). However, many of the WB countries and some of the EU member states of the SEE region have energy strategies which are not fully based on decarbonization pathways. Hence, the issue to be explored is which opportunities and challenges green transformation presents to the SEE region? This panel will focus on discussing readiness for energy transition of several SEE countries, taking into account different starting positions and specifics of their power sectors. Key elements in NECPs, especially regarding deployment of RES and Coal Phase Out aspects, will be in the focus of discussion.


Prof. Neven Duić
University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia
Neven Duic is a Professor in Energy Planning, Policy and Economics since 2001, at Power Engineering and Energy Management Chair, Department of Energy, Power Engineering and Environment, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture, University of Zagreb. He is vice-president of Croatian Academy of Engineering and Chair of organising Committee of CAETS 2023. He is member of International Scientific Committee of Dubrovnik Conference on Energy, Water and Environment Systems since 2003 and chair of its Local Organising Committee since 2007. He is co-Editor of Energy Conversion and Management, subject Editor of Energy, Editorial Board member of Applied Energy, member of regional editorial board of Thermal Science Journal and Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems. His research covers areas of energy planning of energy systems with high penetration of renewables, sustainable communities, energy policy, energy economics, mitigation of climate change, energy efficiency and combustion engineering.
Whichever energy policy country takes, coal is out and renewables win
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What if one country decides to continue with coal power and other starts transition to renewables? Due to lower variable costs, renewables mostly win in merit order, or if coal plays must take, coal looses money. When certain threshold penetration is reached, coal cannot cover OPEX and shuts down. Game theory allows for option that both countries choose coal power, since collusion is possible, but since in Southeast Europe some countries are EU members, they are obliged to choose renewables, so that option is actually not available. If both choose renewables, they will be in level playing field. Option to use hydro proceeds to subsidise coal, as most countries in region do, is obvious destruction of value, so taxation and market rules should be modified to discourage it. Even if it is not, renewables will push coal into not covering OPEX.

Dr. Andrej F. Gubina
Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Andrej F. Gubina obtained his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, University of Ljubljana, in 2002 where he was appointed Associate Professor in 2011. In 2000, he was a Fulbright Visiting Researcher at the Energy Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Between 2002 and 2005, he headed the Risk Management Department at HSE d.o.o., Ljubljana. Since March 2007, he is a Senior Researcher and Head of the Laboratory for Energy Policy at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering. He serves as the coordinator of a H2020 IA project COMPILE and has participated as the Principal Investigator in 14 others (FP6, FP7, IEE and H2020). His field of research encompasses Power System Economics and Deregulation, Production Planning under Open Electricity Market Conditions, Risk Management and Asset Management in EPS, Demand Side Management, Energy Efficiency of Demand and Renewable Energy Sources integration. He is a guest lecturer on RES integration and policy design in Europe, and a holder of technology patents. He is a Senior Member of IEEE PES and Member of CIGRE Paris, and the co-convener of the EU H2020 BRIDGE Business Model Working Group.
Prof. Emmanuel Kakaras
National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece
Professor, National Technical University of Athens(NTUA), Schoolof Mechanical Engineering, Thermal Engineering Section andDirectorof the Laboratory of Steam Boilers andThermal Plants, in charge of a group of 20postgraduate researchers (since 2014 until today on part-time basis at NTUA)Senior VicePresident for Energy Solution andNew ProductsMitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Europe GmbH,Duisburg, Germany
The role of hydrogen in the future energy system
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The role of hydrogen in the future energy system is crucial both in terms of climate neutrality goals set by the European Green Deal 2050 strategy, but also in terms of security of supply. Hydrogen economy can considerably contribute to socio-economic growth, boosting economies and employment, especially in South East Europe. On one hand blue hydrogen can find wide applications in thermal power, industrial and transport sector supporting the inherent fluctuation of renewable power and enhancing the efficiency and flexibility of the energy system. Green hydrogen can help balancing the electricity demand and supply during over supply of renewable electricity. Its use can be broadened from thermal power meeting low demand periods to conversion into fuels and chemicals decarbonising hard to bate sectors. The well established European gas grid infrastructure could accelerate the transition to EU hydrogen economy, transporting the energy carrier in different countries, regions and allow its use in wide range of centralised and decentralised applications and industrial to household consumers.

Prof. Natasha Markovska
Research Center for Energy and Sustainable Development - Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Skopje, North Macedonia
Natasa Markovska holds DSc degree from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Skopje, with thesis on solar energy technologies. At present she is a Senior Researcher at the Research Centre for Energy and Sustainable Development of MANU and Professor of the subject Energy and Climate Change at two master programs and a doctoral program of Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technologies, UKIM. Also, she serves as a National Focal Point of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a Member of the International Scientific Committee of the Conferences on Sustainable Development of Energy Water and Environmental Systems (SDEWES Conferences). She has been participating in 111 international and national projects related to climate change mitigation, sustainable development, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency and energy strategic planning, for clients such as UNDP, USAID, WB, European Commission, GIZ, Macedonian and other governments. In these fields, Dr Markovska co-authored 191 published contributions (49 in high impact journals, Scopus h-index = 20). She serves as a Subject Editor – Elsevier’s Energy, (EGY), Section Chief Editor (Environment, Energy Economics, Policies) – Elsevier’s Energy Reports (EGYR) and Associate Editor – Elsevier’s Smart Energy (SEGY). She served as an editor of the Second National Communication under UNFCCC and as a guest editor of 22 special issues of international journals (incl. 11 of Energy and 8 of Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews) dedicated to SDEWES Conferences.
No coal in the Macedonian latest energy and climate planning documents
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The recent context-changing developments are in favor of the country taking determined and accelerated steps on the decarbonization pathway. Namely, it is the first contracting party of the Energy Community which adopted an Energy Strategy based on the five pillars of the EU Energy Union depicting three scenarios - Reference, Moderate Transition and Green which reflect different dynamics of energy transition and enable flexibility into Macedonian response to relevant EU policies and governance for modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy by 2050. Capitalizing on the domestic analytical capacities, participatory practice, experience, tools and knowledge base that have been created even before, and maintained and enhanced over the Energy Strategy timeline, the National Energy and Climate Plan is in final phase of preparation. The analyses of the mitigation potential have shown that in 2030, with 47 policies and measures (32 in energy sector, 11 in agriculture, forestry and land use change and 4 in the waste sector) the greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced for 82% compared to 1990 levels. Furthermore, these measures predominantly are with negative costs (win-win) meaning that over 20-year period, the decarbonization scenario is cheaper than the fossil fuel based scenario.  In addition, given the almost depleted reserves of domestic lignite and the oil and gas import, it seems that there is no other option, but it is a matter of time when meeting the energy needs could be realized only with renewable energy sources combined with intensive energy efficiency – meaning phase out of coal and gas only for industry and combined heat and power plants in the cities. Sector coupling – electrification of heat and transport sectors, also plays a considerable role in the decarbonization pathway. 

Ms. Milka Mumović
Energy Community Secretariat, Vienna, Austria
Milka Mumovic is a graduate economist with substantial experience in energy business, energy regulation and energy policies. She has been working for the Energy Community Secretariat since 2009. Her main tasks are to monitor implementation of the electricity acquis, in particular related to market functioning and price regulation, and implementation of the acquis on energy statistics. In addition, she is coordinating the activities of the ECDSO-E, a platform for cooperation of distribution system operators and several informal coordination groups in the Energy Community. As an expert in the economics of the power sector, she analyses spectrum of policy instruments, from costs and tariffs to taxation and public procurement regimes with the view to identify obstacle for market integration, developing respective policy guidelines and recommendations. She is currently assigned to manage the project of Carbon Pricing Design for the Energy Community.
Prof. Nikola Rajakovic
University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia
University of Belgrade, Belgrade · School of Electrical Engineering, Chair of Power Systems Dr. Rajakovic is a full time teaching professor at the School of Electrical engineering at the department of Power Systems. His research carrier has been combined with steering roles in government and power industry sector. He has been the leader in 40 projects, and the work package leader of many international project among which 2 FP6 and the participant in one FP7. Currently, he is the project leader in national "Smart grid" research project. Areas of his work apart from teaching and research include power system optimization and smart grid applications. His a co-author of 35 refereed full papers in Scientific Journals, 65 refereed papers appearing in Conference Proceedings, 39 Refereed full papers in Scientific Journals (in Serbian), 55 refereed papers appearing in Conference Proceedings (in Serbian), and 9 books (in Serbian).
“Country Readiness for Energy Transition – trends in Serbia”. Nikola Rajaković, Foundation SDEWES – Belgrade, Serbia Just in the immediate neighborhood of European Union (EU), Western Balkan (WB) countries are lagging behind in the energy transit
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“Country Readiness for Energy Transition – trends in Serbia”.

Nikola Rajaković, Foundation SDEWES – Belgrade, Serbia




Just in the immediate neighborhood of European Union (EU), Western Balkan

(WB) countries are lagging behind in the energy transition regardless

technological advances and policy instruments available. EU recently

created a momentum for the energy transition acceleration with the

European Green Deal, which is forwarded to the WB through the Energy

Community secretariat and in general, the response in the form of National

Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) is expected in the short to midterm.

Recently presented the new Republic of Serbia’s Low Carbon Development

Strategy with Action plan (LEDS) will be analyzed, commented and

improvements suggested for the acceleration of the energy transition,

based on the newest findings from the simulation-based optimization

techniques using the sectors coupling approach. Furthermore, integrated

assessment modeling (IAM) techniques, exploring the climate and energy

cross impacts with the more details will be included. The purpose of the

research is to provide the decision makers in the WB with the best

available insights regarding sustainable energy systems, and citizens of

the WB with better chance to benefit from adoption of these strategies in



Prof. Igor Vušanović
University of Montenegro, Podgorica, Montenegro
Igor Vušanović has graduated at University of Belgrade in 1992. He earned his master degree in 1996 and PhD in 2002 at the University of Montenegro. He published as an author and co – author more than 50 articles in scientific peer reviewed international and domestic journals, and international scientific conferences. He organized successfully prestigious ICCES Special symposium on Meshless & Other Novel Computational Methods in 2012, and give invited talks at 5 foreign universities. Igor Vušanović has more than 27 years of professional experience in the field of energy and energy efficiency, modelling in field of materials processing, environmental engineering and thermo-technics. His research area covers: Modelling of phase change phenomena in materials processing, Heat and mass transfer in HVAC systems, advanced technics in numerical modelling, Environmental engineering and sustainable Development. His present position is a Full Professor and Dean of Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at University of Montenegro.
Readiness and challenges for Energy Transition in Montenegro
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Montenegro as one of the candidate for EU membership is a country fully dedicated to achieve ambitious plans of EU related with decarbonization and increasing of RES and EE in most of its sectors. As a small Mediterranean country with dominant service and tourism sector, consumption of energy is highly unsteady. On the other hand most of energy production lies on hydro power plants and recently with wind and solar based energy sources, which determinate our energy sector as quite unstable in terms of balancing between production and consumption side. It would be very challenging in the recent future how to project and achieve this demanding balance between two highly unsteady sides in energy sector. As one of the problems we currently have are strong dependence on energy import, low efficiency in energy production and use, and high percentage of use of fossil fuels as a primary energy. Montenegro has a large hydropower potential which is exploited less than 30%, BUT still with a significant share in the production of electric energy. In the future special attention will be given to integration of variable renewable energy sources (RES) like wind and solar energy. Some very first case analysis shows that pathway toward the 100 % of renewable energy system is possible with careful implementation of additional energy efficiency measures, appropriate energy storage systems, synergies between energy and transportation sectors and good balancing through demand response.


Benchmarking the performance of cities across energy, water and environment systems
related metrics presents an opportunity to trigger policy learning, action, and cooperation to bring cities closer to sustainable development.