- Green Energy and Cultural Heritage Preservation: Case Studies from Serbia   click here to open paper content1175 kb
by    Sretovic, Visnja & Brkovic, Matija & Cvetinovic, Marija | visnja_sretovic@yahoo.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
Serbia is faced with an ongoing conflict between energy demands and preservation of national heritage. The answer is found in small hydroelectric plants. This paper presents two successful examples: in monastery Studenica and ethnic village Drvengrad
Serbia nowadays is faced with a challenge of securing sustainable development of its cities and environs vis-à-vis the continually increasing demands for energy, and dramatic raise of negative effects that the existing energy production and consumption pattern is producing upon them.

The country is rich in cultural heritage, some of which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List, and therefore the preservation and conservation of its heritage stays among national priorities and as such has been treated in the Spatial Development Plan of Serbia 2024. Many natural and cultural heritage sites have come under threat while some have virtually disappeared due to the large scale energy developments, or being directly exposed to the side effects of the ongoing energy consumption patterns. For example, the historical settlement of Ada Kaleh and the old Roman roads in Eastern Serbia were flooded during the construction of the Djerdap dam, while the famous Tabula Traiana had to be relocated outside the dam area. There are many other examples which illustrate the continuing conflict between the energy production and consumption patterns on one hand, and conservation and preservation of national cultural heritage, on the other.

The reconciliation of this conflict is found in the approach of developing small scale hydroelectric plants. That way a balance between energy production and consumption, and preservation of cultural heritage will be established. Such an approach named “Small is Beautiful” will secure a full integration of these small plants into the surroundings preserving ambiance values and cultural heritage, authenticity, visual unity and identity and at the same time work in synergy with cultural heritage.

In this paper two successful examples will be presented. The first one is a case of the small hydroelectric plant built next to the medieval monastery Studenica on the river Studenica. Studenica is a cultural site of the highest value for the Serbian culture and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A small hydro plant was built on the river Studenica and presents an excellent example of how the appropriate scale and management of energy production can work with no harm on cultural heritage. Another example is the case of the ethnic village ”Drvengrad” located in the national park Mokra gora, within which a similar small scale hydro plant currently is under construction on the river Beli Rzav. Similar to the first one, the prerequisites of preserving the surrounding and safeguarding the heritage is a condition sine qua non for its successful development and operation.
cultural heritage, green energy, balanced development, preservation, small scale energy systems
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