Serbia to add 1 GW in wind farms in next five years

Although Serbia could get 1 GW in wind farm capacity in the next five years, it has to decarbonize energy and reduce the share of coal in energy production within one or two decades. The Green Agenda for the Western Balkans can help the implementation of the inevitable and expensive process, which will also bring a healthier environment, according to speakers at online conference Green Economy – Raising the Value of the Serbian Market.

A few days ago, the Western Balkan countries signed the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, committing them to a series of actions. The Green Agenda is envisaged by the European Green Plan, the EU’s strategy to become climate neutral by 2050.

Sam Fabrizi, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia: The Green Agenda will accelerate the transition in Serbia

The green economy is first and foremost a matter of priority. If Serbia puts climate change on top of the agenda, investments will be needed from the budget, from the international financial institutions, the European Union. It is crucial is to set energy transition as a political goal in order to implement it. Serbia’s starting position is weak and needs to be improved, which is exactly the purpose of the Green Agenda – to speed up the transition.

Serbia signed this document in Sofia, which demonstrates the political will, but now the realization must follow. Serbia should accept that the green economy is not a luxury, but something that can create new jobs, and that the use of coal is not the future.

EPS has to decarbonize by 2030 or 2040

Dragan Vlaisavljević, executive director for electricity trading at state power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), said the region is slowly becoming aware of the European Green Deal and the obligations it carries. They are not only technical requirements, which are the least challenging, but also financial requirements, which will affect customers –  the industry less than households.

There are serious goals in front of EPS, he said.

In order to carry out decarbonization, EPS must increase economic and technical efficiency

The production sector or power plants of EPS will be decarbonized by 2030 or 2040, so deadlines should be defined for fulfilling that obligation. Decarbonization requires a financial capacity, so the company must increase economic and technical efficiency in order to be able to implement it, he said at a conference organized by Adria Media Group.

Another sector, EPS Distribution, will get a major role as the distribution system operator because it becomes the market pivot.

Vlaisavljević said Serbia would have about 1.5 GW of wind power plants in five years and added that it means about 1 GW of new power plants would be built, all without subsidies.

The investors are only interested in solving the balancing issues and nothing else, he added.

Zorana Mihajlović, Minister of Mining and Energy: Decarbonization is coming

The environment is the most important, so producing energy is not the most important issue, but that it must be green. In order to prepare for the Green Agenda, we are moving ahead with legislative changes. The Green Agenda brings one thing that will be very important in the coming period, and that is decarbonization. In Serbia it is about lignite, so we will slowly turn away from it.

This is not just about the Paris Agreement and the EU directives, which we have committed to implement, but about the fact that it is good for us to have a healthier environment.

Miroslav Lutovac, adviser to the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, mentioned another possibility for the expansion of green energy capacity. He said businesses are ready to participate in the energy transition, but that there is no valid legislative framework, meaning it is good that the new minister announced laws would be changed.

Businesses could initially provide 50 MW in solar panels

Serbia is lagging behind the world in the introduction of solar energy, he added. As a good approach in the energy transition, Lutovac pointed to distributed generation, which involves the installation of smaller energy sources, such as solar power plants on the roofs of companies and households.

Solar panels on household roofs have a huge potential

If only a thousand firms use their rooftops or other surfaces to install solar photovoltaic panels of up to 50 kW, Serbia will get a total of 50 MW, which is not small capacity, and it is very easy to do that.

The country should focus on motivating companies to use the opportunity, he said.

If the approach is applied by households, even with much smaller installed capacity but with a larger number of PV systems, it would secure a much bigger gain. The cost of installing PV panels is acceptable, and the technology is affordable, Lutovac said.

Vlaisavljević greeted the proposition but said all those that are interested have to wait for state authorities to change regulation and allow them to become prosumers.


Author: Vladimir Spasić

SOURCE: Balkan Green Energy News