Published on July 25, 2023

Renewable energy permitting in Bosnia and Herzegovina: how to optimise the process while safeguarding the environment and public participation

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) undoubtedly has significant potential to develop environmentally acceptable forms of renewable energy. Likewise, considering that its coal plants are rapidly ageing, there is a pressing need for investments in wind and solar projects in particular. To ensure that social consensus is reached on the locations, types and construction methods of renewable energy installations, robust implementation of the Aarhus Convention, which guarantees public access to environmental information and public participation in decision-making on environmental matters regarding individual projects, plans, programmes and legislation, is necessary.

This analysis begins with an overview of the permits required for building renewable energy facilities in the two entities of Bosnia and Herzegovina: the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Republika Srpska (RS). For each entity, we summarise the permitting process for larger facilities, particularly hydropower plants and wind plants, as well as the steps involved in permitting small solar installations. Finally, we provide recommendations to improve the processes for all projects in each entity. These recommendations are intended not only to eliminate needless and time-consuming practices, but also to advance the transposition and implementation of EU legislation on environmental protection and public participation.

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