Renewables

Public consultation on Serbia’s national energy and climate plan: Coal use to be cut 25% by 2030

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June 15, 2023

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Published:

June 15, 2023

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Serbia plans to reduce the use of lignite in electricity generation by 25% by the year 2030, compared to 2019, according to the country’s Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan for the period to 2030 with projections until 2050.

The share of renewable energy sources in gross final consumption should increase to 33.6% by 2030, according to the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (INECP or NECP), while greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by 40.3% compared to the 1990 levels. The document is available on the website of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, and the public consultation is open from June 13 to July 28.

Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović has said she hopes the government will adopt the plan in the fall.

The strategic document, according to her, will lay the groundwork for the development of Serbia’s energy sector through 2030, with projections until 2050 regarding the increase of renewables’ share in the energy mix, energy efficiency, and emissions cuts.

“Already in 2019, we were above the European Union average by the share of renewable energy in the energy mix, primarily thanks to our hydropower plants, but through partnership between the public and private sectors, we will have to work harder to increase the capacities of solar parks and wind farms,” ​​Đedović said following a meeting with members of the executive board of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC).

“Targeted initiatives” for post-lignite era

When it comes to reducing the use of lignite, the plan does not provide too many details.

“Another essential objective within the framework of the INECP is the ambitious, but realistic, program for reducing the share of lignite in electricity production, i.e., lignite phaseout, by up to 25% in 2030 compared to 2019,” reads the document.

The lignite phaseout will be carried out through “targeted initiatives,” including “the adoption of integrated programs for supporting the lignite-producing areas and ensuring the smooth transition to the post-lignite era.”

Renewables share in gross final consumption will go up to 33.6%

The 33.6% target for the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption is 7.3 percentage points above the share recorded in 2020, of 26.3%. According to the NECP, green energy “will be considered as the major domestic source of electricity production with a share reaching 45% of the gross final electricity consumption in 2030.”

This will be achieved, according to the document, mainly through the most cost-effective utilization of the available wind and solar energy potential.

“The increased interest of investors in wind and PV installations, which is evident by the large number of applications, will ensure that the required new capacities will be installed by 2030,” reads the document.

NECP targets 40.3% overall emissions cut by 2030

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the plan envisages a 13.2% reduction by 2030 compared to 2010 level, or 33,3% compared to 1990, not including non-energy related emissions from agriculture, waste, land use, land use change, and forestry.

The target for the overall emissions reduction for 2030 is 40.3% compared to the 1990 levels, according to the document.

In line with EU rules, the NECP addresses five dimensions: decarbonization (which includes greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy sources), energy efficiency, energy security, the internal energy market, and research, innovation and competitiveness.

In July 2022, the previous ministry presented the draft of the NECP and its targets, and opened a public consultation soon after that.

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