Wind Power

22 Nov 2020

Serbia to Add 1 GW in Wind Farms in Next Five Years

22 Nov 2020  by   

Although Serbia could get 1 GW in wind farm capacity in the next five years, decarbonization of the power sector dominated by coal is to take place only within one or two decades. The Green Agenda for the Western Balkans can help the implementation of this inevitable and expensive process, which will also bring a healthier environment, according to speakers at the 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 a part of the European Green Plan, the EU’s strategy to become climate neutral by 2050.

EPS needs to decarbonize its operations by 2030, 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 and they will affect customers –  the households more than the industry.

Vlaisavljević also said that two sectors within the power utility have ambitious goals.

The production sector or power plants of EPS will be decarbonized by 2030 or 2040, so milestones should be defined along the process. Decarbonization requires a financial capacity, so the company must increase its economic and technical efficiency in order to be able to implement it, Vlaisavljević 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 that in five years in Serbia around 1.5 GW of wind power plants will be connected to the grid, and added that it means about 1 GW of new power plants will be built, all without subsidies.

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

When will Serbia provide regulatory framework for prosumers?

Miroslav Lutovac, adviser to the president of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, mentioned another possibility for the expansion of green energy capacity. He said that businesses are ready to participate in the energy transition, but 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 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.

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 that the citizens will have to wait for state authorities to change regulation and allow them to become prosumers.

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