Montenegro is recognized as a regional energy hub with a high level of utilization of renewable energy sources and mineral raw materials based on the principles of circular economy and sustainable environment
• Increase innovative use of renewable energy sources
• Increase innovation activities in recycling and waste valorisation
Montenegro has a lot of potential in renewable energy sources. Hydropower provides two thirds of the total electricity generation in the country, but only 17% of the theoretical hydropower potential has been exploited so far. Wind energy has significant potential in areas with high wind speed (above 7 m/s). Power generated from wind can reach up to 25% (925 GWh) of annual electricity consumption at the national level. Given that a wind farm was installed in Montenegro at the highest altitude in Europe, one can say that the country has positioned itself as a testing environment for implementation of these technologies in extreme conditions. Solar energy is very promising, because the average number of sunny hours in Montenegro exceeds 2,000 per year, or 2,500 hours per year in the coastal region. There are significant potentials to use wood waste as a source of energy.
The potential lies in solar energy, wind energy, development of smart networks and smart city projects, energy storage systems, integration of prosumers and electrification of transport. Research, innovation and selected transfer of technologies have been recognized as drivers of development under this priority. In the circular economy domain, i.e. the preservation of resources and environment, the potential has been identified in the availability of natural resources and technogenic mineral raw materials for new industrial applications. The largest utilization potential in the industrial waste structure lies with fly ash, red sludge, slag, metal dust and wood waste. The environment in Montenegro is considered one of its key advantages, given that nature is still unpolluted, while the Adriatic Sea is considered one of the cleanest seas in the world. Montenegro has 5 national parks that account for 7.7% of the territory of Montenegro. In addition, Montenegro has numerous nature parks and two UNESCO protected cultural and natural sites.
In its growth and development of energy and industrial capacities, Montenegro has decided to ensure compliance of its development needs with environmental and spatial protection standards. In the energy sector, Montenegro is committed to increase the use of energy from renewable sources, with a special focus on the sustainable development of this sector. Numerous projects have been implemented or are being implemented – the construction of mini-hydro power plants, two large wind farms and a large solar power plant. Thus, the energy mix of Montenegro includes hydropower plants with 67.06% (702,895 MW), thermal power plants with 21.47% (225 MW), wind farms with 11.26% (118 MW), and solar power plants with 0.21% (2.233 MW) of the total installed generation capacity. An underwater electrical transmission cable was also installed to connect the electric power systems of Montenegro and Italy, which positions Montenegro as a regional energy hub. Economical, environmentally sound and reliable generation, transmission and consumption of electricity, as well as optimal management, are becoming the main challenges of the modern electricity sector in Montenegro.
The manufacturing industry generates or used to generate major quantities of industrial waste with great utilization potential. Fly ash, red sludge, slag, metal dust and wood waste have the greatest utilization potential in the industrial waste structure. In order to utilize this waste’s potential, its characterization has to be determined first (physical, geochemical and other characteristics), followed by selection and improvement waste management technologies in accordance with the circular economy principles.
At the national level, there are institutions in the academic community with a tradition of research in the sectors of energy and development of industrial materials. These institutions are now investing their efforts in mastering new technologies related to renewable energy sources (in addition to traditional hydropower) and waste recycling. The focus of innovation activities in the energy sector is on the optimization of energy systems and new ways of energy storage, which is very important for energy systems that depend on renewable sources, such as the Montenegrin one, as these sources do not guarantee continuity of supply. In the industrial materials development sector, the focus of innovation activities is on the production of construction materials and adsorbents from industrial waste. There are ambitious small and medium-sized enterprises in the economy that are involved in the development of new technologies related to these sectors.
Regional centre for recycling scrap metal;
Production of energy products from wood waste;
Energy efficiency and improvement of energy balance;
Eco-materials (wood, stone, aluminium etc.) processing and use.
Smart networks and cities;
Development of energy storage systems;
Development of the concept of energy consumers/producers (“prosumers”);
Technologies for utilisation of technogenic mineral raw materials;
Reduction of consumption and CO2 emissions (eco active/passive facilities).