Renewables

Montenegro’s EPCG vows to put solar panels on every roof in country

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Published

January 16, 2024

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Published:

January 16, 2024

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State-owned firm EPCG solar gradnja said it would start the works this year within the Solari 5000+ subsidy program in Montenegro for the installation of photovoltaic systems on buildings. The subsidiary of power utility Elektroprivreda Crne Gore (EPCG) stressed it wouldn’t stop until solar panels are installed on every suitable roof in the country.

Supporting households, institutions and firms to become prosumers by setting up rooftop solar power facilities is a no-brainer in the energy transition of every country. In Southeastern Europe, Montenegro’s focus on the sector is gradually moving it closer toward the levels achieved by Greece, Turkey and Romania.

When a government simplifies the procedure, introduces subsidies and readies the power distribution network to integrate such capacity, the rooftop PV market tends to expand exponentially. Prosumers strengthen energy security and stimulate investments, supply chains and job creation.

There is a vast surface available on roofs everywhere and the segment is free from controversies over occupying fertile land or places that could be used otherwise.

EPCG solar gradnja about to wrap up Solari 3000+, Solari 500+, switch to Solari 5000+

Right after Romania’s Minister of Environment, Water and Forests Mircea Fechet said subsidy schemes should last until there are solar panels on every last roof in the country, Montenegro announced an even more dedicated pledge.

The Solari 5000+ public call for households, multiapartment buildings of up to four floors, firms and institutions was completed already in March

State-owned firm EPCG solar gradnja, which installs PV systems and is mainly driven by government incentives, said it would start the works this year within the Solari 5000+ program. The public call for households, multiapartment buildings of up to four floors, firms and institutions was completed last March.

The business, controlled by power utility EPCG, explained that it would soon complete Solari 3000+ and Solari 500+ and proceed immediately to the next chapter. So far 29.3 MW out of the planned 30 MW has been installed.

Beneficiaries get subsidy of up to 20%

The current mechanism is worth EUR 30 million and implemented in cooperation with the Environmental Protection Fund (Eco-Fund). EPCG solar gradnja told MINA – Montenegro Independent News Agency it would result in the capacity with an estimated annual output of 44 GWh.

With the Solari programs, EPCG provides equipment and installs it for consumers that it selects from the public call. They get a subsidy of up to 20% and repay the investment in the form of a loan within five to ten years. The prosumers can sell excess electricity to their supplier.

“We won’t stop until all suitable structures in Montenegro have solar power plants on their roofs, as we want to change Montenegro for the better,” EPCG solar gradnja stressed. Solari 5000+ is for a total of 70 MW. The first public call was issued in November 2021, though the project truly took off only in September of last year.

EPCG expects biggest profit in its history for 2023

Chairman of the Board of Directors of EPCG Milutin Đukanović said the utility expects EUR 70 million to EUR 80 million in profit for last year, its best result so far. “I think we are the only electric power industry in the region and beyond that didn’t raise electricity prices,” he added.

The company plans to install solar power plants with a combined capacity of over 80 MW this year. However, it needs at least 100 MW as Montenegro’s only coal power plant, Pljevlja, the dominant electricity producer, is set to go offline for a while as it is undergoing reconstruction, Đukanović explained.

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