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We must face the challenges of global change - Dragica Ustapetrova Atanasova

Dragica Ustapetrova Atanasova, project manager in the energy team at Infiniti Energy and ITSS and our representative at this year's MEF '21 Energy Forum, after 20 years of experience in this field talks about the latest challenges in using renewable energy sources and tackling global climate change.

1. The global energy changes bring changes at the local level as well. How do you see these changes, how is Infinity Energy & ITSS coping with them?

Each time brings its own challenges. Our generation is racing against major climate change, where on the one hand we have the growing need for electricity, and on the other the need to protect the environment on which the survival of humankind depends.

Nearly 60 percent of oil and gas reserves and 90 percent of coal must remain in the ground to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. By 2050, we expect electricity demand to increase by 50%, and in the meantime, we need to find ways to provide 80% of energy from non-fossil sources.

The perception of the need for changes in the way of thinking and acting has changed, but the reality, unfortunately, is not yet. The decisive factors here are the authorities and the big companies that are the bearers of the changes, each in its segment of action.

However, not every company can be a carrier of change, it is necessary to have vision, knowledge, and capacity. Fortunately, our Infinity Group has all of these prerequisites, which also gives us the responsibility to make the most of them. Therefore, our vision is to respond to modern challenges with innovative approaches to improving the business and social community, a vision that many companies work towards every day in different areas, but with the same enthusiasm and commitment.

For example, Prointer last year and this year rounded up as the IT leader in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Caldera has long been a leader in the regional energy market with its products under the licenses of Siemens, ABB, and Schneider Electric, and the 30 years of experience and 150 employees are indicators of the knowledge and high quality we have in the field of energy. Infinity ADS is a leading company in digital archiving, and the group also includes the company EP Mobile, which has huge potential because it deals with electro-mobility. It has already established a network of chargers for electric cars in Republika Srpska, which will be very prosperous in the future.

On the Macedonian market, there is Infinity Energy & ITSS, a company that works with energy and information technology - the two biggest drivers of the economy in today's society. We create digital modern solutions that in correlation with the energy requirements give new dynamics in the operations. We have huge support from our partners who are global leaders in informatics and energy, as well as from our group with all the accumulated knowledge and experience. Therefore, I can unpretentiously say that we can meet even the most delicate requirements in the field of energy.

At the group level, we have over 500 employees deployed in several offices in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Austria, Macedonia, and Montenegro, working to adapt to the needs and demands of the market in all areas of operation. We are already thinking about creating Development Educational Centers in the field of energy and informatics. In the short term, they would bring benefits, but in the long run, they would leave a great legacy both to the company and to society.

2. How does Infinity Energy & ITSS see itself in the development and support of renewable energy sources?

World trends in energy development require a more ambitious transition to a low-carbon economy, with renewable energy sources being among the most important factors enabling the so-called soft transition. Therefore, the development and implementation of new projects are increasingly focused on electricity production, to increase the share of renewable energy sources.

As solar and wind power plants are currently the cheapest generation facilities, the predictions say that by 2050, 69% of electricity production will come from them. When you add the development of technology for their production, for storage of that energy (batteries), loss reduction, digitalization in operation and transport, as well as energy efficiency in all parts of the operation, then we can say that energy will undergo major changes, and some of the main carriers of those changes will be the renewable energy sources.

Following all these trends at the group level, we will soon present the new plant Caldera Energy, which will work in solar energy. We have expert teams working in the field of solar power plants which also enable consulting management of the projects in every segment of the operation, starting from infrastructure and design to the part of construction and maintenance. I have to mention that we are guided by the previously accumulated knowledge, we follow all European standards, practices, but also the domicile legal norms and regulations for this type of work.

There is also continuous care for the environment and safety at work in every segment of the operations, as well as the large number of certified engineers working in the field, each with their expertise, only confirm the quality of the final product. When information technology is added to all this, the impossible becomes available and easily achievable.

3. What are your recommendations for key changes in the energy sector?

Global changes in the energy sector have begun. The region can be part of them or follow them from the side. One positive change can make a little or no impact, more people can make a visible change, and companies and governments can make changes that future generations will remember. We must raise awareness, we must face the challenges. Everyone can contribute to change. The environment knows no borders and no states, we all need to work towards its improvement to leave a worthy place for future generations to live.