A feasibility study will serve for future investments in the central heating system in the Bitola region

Photo: Vaska M. Mladenovska

A feasibility study will serve for future investments in the central heating system in the Bitola region

Today, in Bitola, the first conference was held within the project "Renewable energy sources for heating in the Bitola region", which includes the preparation of a feasibility study for the conversion of the energy source for the central heating system, which is under construction, to renewable sources. .
The study will serve as a basis for future investment activities in the central heating system in the Bitola region and increase awareness of the use of renewable energy sources, it was said at the conference.

Photo: Vaska M. Mladenovska

"Bitola is only 12 kilometers from the facility of strategic importance for the production of electricity, REK "Bitola". Because of it, we missed the chance in the past 40 years for the city to be connected to thermal energy. Therefore, it is good to look visionarily into the future and look for green solutions for the future heat pipe. To look for new projects and development of the local economy in the direction of enabling green employment, so that young people can stay in their city. The municipality of Bitola will always support quality projects that mean a better tomorrow for the community - said Mayor Konjanovski.

He recalled that the local government helped install photovoltaics at three secondary schools and six primary schools and expressed hope that by the end of this calendar year, all of them will be put into operation.

- The installed photovoltaics at the regional primary school "Dame Gruev" in the village of Dolno Orizari are already functioning, because it is important for us that rural areas have the same conditions, in order to reduce the city-village migration. The municipality of Bitola has been working on many projects for energy efficiency in the past years, because our strategy is to make the municipality and public municipal facilities more energy efficient, and at the same time to reduce the consumption of electricity. We signed an agreement with the Delegation of the European Union and UNOPS, within the "EU Clean Air" program. With this project, in the next three years, old heating systems will be replaced in several buildings - schools or kindergartens, and a large number of seedlings will be planted in certain sections of the city, which will reduce air pollution. Through a project with USAID, we will provide technical documentation for energy efficient schools and kindergartens. And for the first time, the local government subsidized and provided support worth 3.000.000 denars through the "Energy Efficient Homes" project for collective buildings in 2022, older than 30 years, by renovating the external facades of the buildings and enabling increased energy efficiency for the residents of residential buildings. Air conditioners for the citizens, if last year we subsidized with 4.000.0000 denars, and this year we will implement a new call worth two million denars - Mayor Konjanovski added and reminded that in 2022, the Municipality of Bitola also subsidized the purchase of bicycles worth 1.000.000 denars, and the same amount of funds as the local self-government have planned for this year as well.

Prof. Dr. Igor Nedelkovski, rector of the University "St. Kliment Ohridski" Bitola and co-founder of the GAUSS Institute pointed out that towards the end of the project (September-October 2025) a conference will be held again in Bitola where the results of the feasibility study will be presented.

-But in the meantime, we will not work in isolation, but by the end of the month, all stakeholders with the process of building a central heating system in Bitola will receive an invitation to appoint one representative to the Project Steering Committee, which will meet at least once on for three months in order to be informed about the results of the work of the experts and give comments and suggestions - said the rector of Bitola University prof. Dr. Igor Nedelkovski.

The experiences of the energy transition in Germany were shared by Harald Ufhof, executive director of the Foundation "100 percent from renewable sources". Technologies with large heat pumps for central heating were discussed by Vesna Nedelkovska, project manager at the GAUS Institute and Francisco Beltran, an expert at "Eco Reset", while the initial analysis of the data for the heating system in Bitola was presented by Goran Nedelkov, Nelson Somerfield and Peco. Ristevski, experts of "Eco Reset".

The project "Renewable energy sources for heating in the Bitola region" is part of the European climate initiative EUKI - an instrument for financing projects from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Activities (BMWK).

The main goal of EUKI is to encourage climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

Text and photo: Vaska M. Mladenovska

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