Application of renewable energy sources along motorway infrastructures on high karst plateaus: West Serbia case study


Maintenance of road infrastructures in the winter season carries along significant expenses and may have a negative impact on the environment if the classical methods of snow and ice removal are applied. Using renewable energy sources along motorway infrastructures is a good way of preventing negative consequences which are manifested through the degradation of the quality of soil, surface, groundwater and air. This paper provides a review of the research methodology of using renewable energy sources in road maintenance followed by a discussion of the availability and optimal energy usage at the road sections. The accent was placed on geothermal energy (hydrogeothermal) that is karst groundwater that can be used for the heating/cooling of road surfaces by means of heat pumps. According to the first estimates, the hydrogeothermal potential of the terrain in terms of its thermal power equals about 58 MW. The valorization was carried out across the needs for energy which is expected in the sections of some bridge structures of the highway over the Pester Plateau in Serbia. Depending on the climate conditions, in the most favourable of all the variations, for one bridge it is necessary to provide about 500 kW which in the least favourable conditions about 1.5 MW. Through the decision-making model, the possibilities of multipurpose use of renewable energy sources along motorway infrastructures are presented.

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The research in the area of the Pester Plateau has been carried out within the realisation of the study of possibility of renewable energy resources use for the sake of multipurpose use on the section of Corridor 11 (Pester Plateau) funded by the Ministry of construction of the republic of Serbia.

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Correspondence to Ana Vranjes.

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This article is part of a Topical Collection in Environmental Earth Sciences on “Engineering Problems in Karst” guest edited by Mario Parise.

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Milenic, D., Stevanovic, Z., Dragisic, V. et al. Application of renewable energy sources along motorway infrastructures on high karst plateaus: West Serbia case study. Environ Earth Sci 75, 859 (2016).

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  • Karst
  • Renewable energy
  • Heat power
  • Road infrastructure
  • Pester plateau