Renewables

Đedović: Serbia to promote energy storage with changes to renewables law

Djedovic Dedovic Serbia promote energy storage renewables law

Photo: Emilija Jovanović / MRE

Published

March 30, 2023

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Published:

March 30, 2023

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With the proposed amendments to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources, Serbia will promote the introduction of energy storage facilities, Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović said. Upon request from the country’s transmission and distribution system operators, investors will be able to avoid delaying the connection to the grid by adding batteries with operating power equivalent to a minimum 20% of their renewable electricity plant and a capacity of at least 0.4 MWh for every megawatt of the installed plant.

Serbia achieved a share of renewable energy sources in gross final energy consumption of 27%, which was set for 2020, Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović pointed out at the Berlin Energy Transition Dialogue in Germany’s capital city. She said the government has an ambitious plan to lift the level to close to 40% by 2030.

In the three scenarios in the draft Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan, the target share is 41% to 43%. The government will mostly lean on private investment for the green energy expansion, but also on public investment, the minister said. She asserted that Serbia attracts over 60% of foreign direct investment in the Western Balkans and that it wants to offer assurances to investors that they can rely on green energy.

TSO, DSO to be able to delay connecting power plants if they estimate power system is jeopardized

Đedović said the proposed amendments to the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources, which the cabinet adopted two weeks ago, would promote the construction of energy storage facilities.

Grid overloads amid a lack of capacity and the variability of renewable energy production are increasing the challenges for the countries of Southeastern Europe and beyond, as does the need for balancing energy, which is used to make up for shortfalls in forecasted output, especially for wind and solar power plants. The pressure can be partly relieved by including batteries, from household to industrial ones to electric vehicle batteries and the systems that are directly on the network.

To avoid delaying the connection of a 100 MW renewable power plant amid concerns for grid stability, an investor would need to add a battery energy storage system of 20 MW and 40 MWh

Distribution and transmission system operators will be able to opt for a delay in connection if they estimate the system is jeopardized, according to the bill. Investors will be able to avoid it by adding batteries with operating power equivalent to a minimum 20% of their renewable electricity plant and a capacity of at least 0.4 MWh per every installed megawatt in their plant.

In the transmission segment, run by state-owned utility Elektromreža Srbije, the batteries would be intended for the provision of secondary reserve ancillary services, according to the government’s proposal. As for green power plants on the distribution network, for which government-controlled Elektrodistribucija Srbije is responsible, the rule applies to units between 400 kW and 5 MW.

Serbia aims to triple combined wind, solar power capacity within three years

Total capacity of wind and solar power plants in Serbia is 550 MW, Đedović said and added the goal is to triple it within three years.

She noted that a major part of electricity in the region is produced from coal and that transition costs imply significant external support, where Western Balkan countries currently cannot count on as much funding as European Union member states.

“Together with our international partners, we will work to secure funding to make the energy transition financially sustainable and socially just and to stimulate job creation in the process together with sustainable mining and the utilization of modern technologies, like hydrogen, but also greater use of critical mineral raw materials, which are very abundant in our country, in a sustainable way,” Đedović stressed at the conference.

Workforce from coal mines can switch to lithium, boron extraction

She suggested the possibility for people working in coal and copper mines to switch to the production of the raw materials that are needed for the green and energy transition. Serbia has some of the biggest deposits of lithium and boron, Đedović said.

Serbia shares the EU’s vision to achieve carbon neutrality

In addition to green energy development, the government also has ambitious targets for increasing energy efficiency and reducing harmful gas emissions, she underscored at the event. “We share the vision of EU members to move toward carbon neutrality, and as part of the Energy Community we are transposing European regulations into our legal system even though we are not an EU member,” Đedović said.

In Berlin, she met with Vice-chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and discussed the possibility of investing in Serbia with the representatives of Siemens Energy and Mercedes-Benz, the Serbian ministry said.

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