The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed a EUR 40 million loan with Serbia’s power distribution operator, Elektrodistribucija Srbije, to procure and deploy smart electricity meters, a project that is expected to help improve energy efficiency, cut CO2 emissions, and integrate prosumers into the grid.
The entire project is valued at EUR 80 million, and the agreement with the EBRD covers the first phase – the procurement and installation of software and the new system and the replacement of about 205,000 smart meters in the cities of Kraljevo, Čačak, and Niš. The first stage should be completed by 2025, and the entire project by 2027.
Serbia currently generates network losses of some EUR 200 million a year
Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović said following the signature that Serbia currently generates network losses of some EUR 200 million a year and that investing in smart metering is one of the ways to cut these losses.
Serbia will discuss further investments in the distribution network with all international partners, she said, adding that such investments are the foundation of energy security.
The project will help avoid about 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year
The project will also help avoid about 5,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year thanks to the expected reduction in technical losses, due to old equipment, the EBRD said in a press release.
Smart meters will help prosumers control, reduce consumption
Nandita Parshad, the EBRD’s managing director for sustainable infrastructure, said this is only the beginning of the bank’s cooperation with Serbia on this project, which she said will help prosumers to control and reduce their energy consumption.
In the press release, the EBRD said that the smart metering infrastructure will encourage new renewable energy projects and help to integrate prosumers into the power distribution system.
Ahead of the signing ceremony, Mihajlović met with Charlotte Ruhe, the EBRD’s managing director for Central and South Eastern Europe, to discuss ongoing and future projects in Serbia’s mining and energy sector, according to a statement from the Ministry of Mining and Energy.