Renewables

GIZ takes 25 guests from Serbia to visit renewable energy sites in Germany

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Photo: GIZ

Published

June 16, 2023

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Published:

June 16, 2023

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Representatives of public institutions, power utilities, energy cooperatives, technical schools, and universities from Serbia have visited the global energy transition leader – Germany. During the trip organized by GIZ, the guests expanded their knowledge about renewable energy, primarily solar. Germany has for years been incentivizing citizens and businesses to become prosumers, which enabled the participants to get better acquainted with a concept that is only just emerging in Serbia.

The trip to Bad Homburg for 25 guests from Serbia was organized in late May and early June by the German development agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, in cooperation with consultancy intec GOPA-International Energy Consultants.

The visit was part of the German cooperation project Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Serbia, implemented by GIZ in partnership with the Ministry of Mining and Energy of the Republic of Serbia.

The delegation from Serbia was made up of representatives of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, the Energy Agency, distribution system operator Elektrodistribucija Srbije (EDB), state power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS), as well as municipal energy managers and representatives of the first energy cooperative in Serbia, Elektropionir, and technical schools and universities.

The visit focused on prosumers – solar power plants in households, residential communities, and public and private buildings that produce electricity for self-consumption and deliver surpluses to the grid. Prosumers are an important element of energy democratization and a cornerstone of a successful energy transition.

“Germany’s extensive expertise in solar energy and prosumers positions it as an ideal destination for gaining in-depth knowledge and insights in these areas,” said Project Director Till Barmeier.

With world leading manufacturers, developers, research institutions, and service providers, Germany offers excellent opportunities for hands-on experience. As much as 38% of its electricity comes from renewable sources, and its last three nuclear power plants were recently shut down.

“Also, the experiences stemming from incentivizing decentralized energy production provide valuable insights into the technical, economic, and regulatory aspects of prosumer integration. This is particularly relevant for Serbia, which has recently begun its own journey towards decentralizing energy production and integrating prosumers,” Barmeier explained.

Sharing experiences and gaining new knowledge are key elements of Serbia’s energy transition

In addition to sessions and discussions with experts, the guests from Serbia had the opportunity to visit state-of-the-art solar power plants.

They visited the Dreieich-Buchschlag solar park, a shining example of progress towards sustainability. The power plant was installed in 2012 at the site of a landfill for municipal waste from Frankfurt. Instead of garbage, the site is now occupied by 40,000 solar panels that generate 8,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy a year.

The guests also visited two renowned companies – SMA Solar Technology AG, which was founded in 1981 and which manufactures solar inverters for photovoltaics systems, and ABO WIND, which has been in business for more than 25 years and which develops and builds wind farms and solar power plants, as well as battery and hydrogen projects around the world. ABO WIND also provides services of the operational management and maintenance of power plants.

giz-visit-germany-Bad-Homburg-solar-sma

Photo: GIZ

One of the guests from Serbia, Ana Feketeova, energy manager in the municipality of Bačka Palanka, stressed the importance of energy managers who monitor local energy consumption in a systematic and organized way and who have a deep understanding of the needs of the local community.

Feketeova said that the trip to Germany was well thought out, and that it included visits to all relevant locations – examples of good practice. She also commended the excellent organization of all activities, highly-qualified lecturers, and the selection of target groups, which she said can further encourage networking and exchange of experiences between energy transition leaders in Germany and Serbia.

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