Serbia has significant potential of renewable energy, estimated at 5 million tonnes of oil equivalent, where biomass accounts for 3 million tonnes, said Aleksandar Vesić, assistant minister for agriculture and environmental protection, at an event in the parliament. National Assembly hosted the fourth meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum dedicated to the utilization of biomass for energy purposes and experiences of German state of Baden–Württemberg and Serbia.
Vesić said the government intends to support company investment and public–private parthership in the sector, having in mind the potential earnings from the use of agricultural and forest waste. He added a guide in English and Serbian was printed for investors in biomass, thanks to collaboration with partners from Germany.
Representatives of Baden–Württemberg presented the official strategy for the transition towards greater use of energy from renewable sources. They said that not long ago nuclear energy accounted for 50% of power in the German state, while now the share is dropping, as is that of fossil fuels. Jutta Lück from the Ministry for Environment, Climate and Energy mentioned a project from the partnership in Stara Pazova municipality, west from Serbian capital Belgrade. In a facility for water purification, biogas is taken from the sludge, bringing several thousand euros per year. Nothing is as convincing as a good example, she said.
Serbia needs a system for tracking wood consumption and a sustainable system, said Aleksandar Vasiljević from the development and strategic planning department of public forest management enterprise Srbijašume. He added wood prices in Macedonia rose by EUR 10 per cubic metre after a strict monitoring regime was introduced. Serbia has generally low quality of forests, but its poplar, grown in a big part of the country, is best in Europe and in the rank of the stock in Italy and Romania, he said. Unfortunately, forest fires swallow two to three thousand hectares a year, according to Vasiljević. He underscored the reforested areas from this year and last already dried out in the drought, but that older forests also die.
Other participants in the debate pointed out that Serbia produces and exports pellet in the range of 100,000 tonnes a year, but that most of it is exported to Italy, while this country still relies on fossil fuels.