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Energy Security, the War in Ukraine and Implications for BiH Lecture Held at IUS

On May 16, 2022 Mr. Ulrik Kohl, PhD Fellow from the Roskilde University/ Malmo University visited International University of Sarajevo (IUS) and held an informative lecture titled “Energy Security, the War in Ukraine and Implications for BiH”. After the opening speech given by Assistant Professor Dr. Kristian L. Nielsen from the Department of International Relations and Public Administration at the Faculty of Business and Administration, Mr. Kohl began his presentation that constituted three parts. The first part included brief information about the energy security and the war in Ukraine, the second one emphasized the role of communities and citizens in the clean energy transition and the third part consisted of presenting important information about the potential for clean energy in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The topic of energy security and green transitions is currently a highly relevant topic as Russia is jeopardizing energy security for all of Europe. Ukraine is one of the most important and largest gas suppliers on which European countries highly depend on. According to Mr. Ulrik, countries that rely on import of fossil fuels are greatly affected by their neighbors which puts Russia in a position to manipulate with the energy sources and use them in their favor. Mr. Ulrik emphasized three solutions to this problem: giving up on Russian gas by switching to liquified natural gas (LNG) from Qatar, USA or Azerbaijan; lower consumption of gas through thermal isolation of buildings and greater energy efficiency and lastly transition to clean energy including wind, solar, biomass, hydro or geothermal resources.

For Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose backbone of energy production is coal, the future is not so bright. Besides the enormous pollution, people working in the industry are constantly exposed to safety hazards and EU’s recent decision to put higher taxes on import of such energy is creating big problems for BiH. Mr. Ulrik states that Bosnia and Herzegovina has a lot of potential for solar and wind energy production but these processes are obstructed by a strong coal lobby and political issues.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A session where students and staff had an opportunity to discuss further about this important topic.