Renewable energies play a growing role in district heating in Serbia
Soon there will be no more fuel oil and coal in heat production in Serbia, as the government and local authorities turn to cleaner energy and the expansion of the district heating network. The Ministry of Mines and Energy intends to use the potential of renewable energy, in particular with solar thermal systems, and the EBRD is committed to providing support.
There are few biomass heating plants in Serbia, except for smaller boilers which mainly serve public buildings, and a small number of projects and plants under construction. The situation could change with the cooperation of the Ministry of Mines and Energy with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which is developing solar thermal systems and projects with heat pumps, geothermal energy, waste heat, biogas and energy from seas, lakes, and rivers.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mines and Energy Zorana Mihajlović recently met with new EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso and signed a memorandum of understanding with the lender with the aim of improving air quality, promoting the use of renewable energy sources for thermal energy production and distribution in Serbia and increasing energy efficiency.
Decarbonization of the energy sector
“Serbia is a country in energy transition, which implies, among other things, increasing energy efficiency and investing more in renewable energy sources, preconditions for the decarbonisation of the energy sector and climate-friendly development. neutral. EBRD support is important for activities undertaken in the area of heating, where there is also substantial scope for reducing irrational consumption of heating energy, and for district heating systems to start using more renewable energies, ”the ministry said.
There is considerable scope for reducing irrational heating energy consumption and for district heating systems to start using more renewable energy
Only one larger heating plant, the one in Knjaževac in eastern Serbia, uses biomass as a basic energy source. As part of a program led by the German development bank KfW, the Priboj and Mali Zvornik factories are under construction, and this year work will begin to build another one in Novi Pazar. Serbia is phasing out coal and heating oil in district heating and introducing other sources.
The ministry revealed that it plans to support local authorities in the use of solar energy and biomass in district heating systems. During the meeting, Mihajlović said that it is possible to continue cooperation and highlighted the opportunities in the projects of medium and large hydropower plants, photovoltaic installations and wind farms.
Go further in greening the Serbian economy
The EBRD is working on decarbonising district heating and cooling systems through its ReDEWeB (Renewable District Energy in the Western Balkans) fund. Supporting the green economy and improving energy efficiency is one of the key priorities of the bank in Serbia – it provides finance for green investments and policy advisory services to authorities to help create the right regulatory environment, Manager Principal of the fund for renewable energy district in the Western Balkans Bojan Bogdanović told Balkan Green Energy News.
Supporting the green economy and improving energy efficiency is one of the main priorities of the bank in Serbia
“We are now going further towards the greening of the Serbian economy and we will support the country to introduce renewable energies in its district heating systems. By signing this memorandum with the Ministry of Mines and Energy of Serbia, the two organizations commit to work together towards three main objectives: to introduce renewable energy sources for district heating systems, to improve energy efficiency district heating systems and improve the regulatory framework at national and local level. ,” he said.
Bogdanović will chair the panel on solar thermal as part of sustainable urban energy systems in the energy transition process at the first major solar energy conference in Serbia. The event will take place on April 14 in Belgrade.