Introduction

Dear colleagues,

In the attempt to disseminate the positive practice and results of technological development concerning power generation problems, Society of Thermal Engineers of Serbia, following successful biannual International events POWER PLANTS since 2004, is organizing International Conference POWER PLANTS 2021, in cooperation with the Electric Power Industry of Serbia (EPS), under the auspices of the Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia and Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia.

Due to pandemic COVID-19 problems, regularly planned Conference POWER PLANTS in 2020 had to be postponed. Considering still actual travelling problems due to pandemic COVID-19, International Conference POWER PLANTS 2021 will be organised as a hybrid conference with the in-vivo participation at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Belgrade University, Serbia and virtual participation throughout Zoom platform, in the period November 17-18, 2021.

The Conference POWER PLANTS 2021 is foreseen to gather energy policymakers, company managers, researchers, technical experts, environmental engineers and the other professionals actively involved in the strategic, economic, social and environmental aspects of the research, development and operation of the Power Industry, mostly from the member countries signatories of the TREATY establishing ENERGY COMMUNITY of the SOUTH EASTERN EUROPE (ECSEE) and from other countries, concerned with topics and implementation of the ECSEE TREATY.

In the last 20 years Power Plants in SEE countries due to economic transition problems, local conflicts, war destructions and financial crisis, have been functioning in a very difficult and specific exploitation condition of the disturbed and closed market, resulting in a remarkable decrease in financial support for maintenance but with a lot of exploitation problems. The most important among them are malfunctions, damages and irregular functioning of the equipment in the Power Plants caused by imposed conditions and, first of all, due to decreased investments in maintenance. Intensive exploitation of plants under such circumstances led to the decrease of energy efficiency, reliability, availability and business efficiency of Power Plants, along with a relative increase of environmental pollution (soil, waterways and air).

Climate change processes and Pandemic COVID-19 has speed-up energy transition processes all over the world. Leading economies are making strategic plans for fast energy transition according to local needs and resources, planning new big energy projects with huge budgets for their implementation. Most of the new energy technologies in these plans are in the development stages without a proven industrial-scale level and clear techno-economic indicators. Developing and poor countries are committed to following this trend, but due to high capital investment in power plants and their long life period on one side, and without clear information on these new technologies on the other side, their energy transition will be prolonged. International Conference POWER PLANTS 2021 is dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge on methods, policies and technologies able to establish growth from the use of natural resources and by a transition to a future knowledge-based society.

Having in mind the importance and research priorities, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia under programs and Technology Development - Energy, Mining and Energy Efficiency, financially supports chosen projects of the defined priority topics, that are about to create technological improvements and prerequisites for increasing energy efficiency in the existing plants of the technological system of power generation in ‘EPS’. The Conference is a chance for the researchers to disseminate achieved results and to point out the potential application in power generation practice.

Power Plants and their technological systems in the SEE countries are relatively old. The problems of their life cycle extension, of capital repair, modernization, revitalization, the introduction of new technologies especially to reduce pollution problems, and of building new capacities have been present since the ’90s of the 20th century. Financial opportunities and conditions for more intensive revitalization, modernization and investing have appeared since then, especially since ECSEE TREATY in action. Therefore, it is obvious that the important part of the Conference will be dedicated to the exchange of scientific and expert information and experience of that kind, including Power Plant revitalization experience and results in SEE countries in the last few years.

Relatively old fashion technical and technological solutions for equipment in technological systems of power generation in the SEE countries, as well as the long period with low-level investments, are the reasons for considerable environmental impact (soil, waterways and air), much more than by contemporary plants in developed countries. The current need for improving Power Plants Systems to a level which is, from the ecological point of view, close to that accepted by the developed countries in the European Union, points out that the environmental pollution problems and environmental systems for reduction of SOx, NOx, PM and CO2 emission will be of special attention at the Conference.

Dr Dejan Cvetinović,
President of the Organizing Committee