Renewables

Serbia digitalizes permitting in energy sector

Serbia digitalizes permitting energy sector

Photo: Emilija Jovanović / Ministry of Mining and Energy

Published

July 10, 2024

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Published:

July 10, 2024

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The Ministry of Mining and Energy of Serbia said it launched digital services for issuing and extending energy permits, obtaining the privileged electricity producer status and the procedure for environmental impact assessment studies. Additionally, Serbia took a EUR 30 million loan from the EBRD for energy efficiency or, in particular, the introduction of renewables in district heating. Also in the new package is a grant from the bank and Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs – SECO.

Serbia’s Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović Handanović and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Environmental Protection Irena Vujović and President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso attended a promotion of digital services enabling companies in Serbia to obtain the necessary permits and approvals quicker and more efficiently in the energy and environmental protection realm.

There are 27 new digital services in the Ministry of Mining and Energy’s competence, primarily for renewable energy sources or RES. They were launched within the eUprava digital state administration platform. “By conducting market premium auctions for RES we showed we can conduct completely digitalized complex procedures and transparently, but it is equally important for us to also apply that to other procedures important for companies and investors,” Đedović Handanović asserted.

She stressed that digitalization would enable fast communication with government institutions instead of, as until now, waiting for several days or sometimes weeks for memos and applications to be delivered, as it would all work automatically.

“Conducting services in a digital form in the energy segment saves money both for the economy and investors and contributes to greater efficiency of the public administration. I believe this is just one of the first results in creating a modern, efficient and digitalized environment for investments in energy, which is important for an even more dynamic process of switching to clean energy sources in our country,” the minister said.

Ministry digitalizes 27 services based on input from investors

Đedović Handanović added that changes to the Law on Energy are being prepared for the transposition of the European Union’s new energy legislation into the domestic legislation, and added it is important for Serbia’s electricity market to be coupled with the EU’s.

The minister thanked the EBRD for its financial support in the said reform, and Serbia’s Public Policy Secretariat for good cooperation in the project’s implementation. The latter digitalized the administrative procedures on the basis of inputs received from investors in renewables.

The ministry received EUR 2.35 million through  IPA 3 for the Administration for the Financing and Promotion of Energy Efficiency

The improvement in services includes issuing and extending energy permits, obtaining the privileged electricity producer status and the procedure for environmental impact assessment studies.

Grant to ease access to EU’s energy efficiency funding

Furthermore, Renaud-Basso and Đedović Handanović signed an agreement on a EUR 2.35 million grant from the EBRD for technical assistance to the Administration for the Financing and Promotion of Energy Efficiency. The funds are from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance IPA 3.

Strengthening the administration’s capacity will enable easier access to EU funds as well as the development, implementation and promotion of support schemes for large-scale energy-efficiency investments, with a particular focus on the renovation of buildings, Renaud-Basso said.

Representing the Delegation of the EU in Serbia, Elvira Angulo Rodriguez attended the event.

City of Kruševac to get heating from waste heat from purification facility

Additionally, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Siniša Mali signed a contract for a EUR 30 million loan which the EBRD approved earlier within the Regional Energy Efficiency Programme (REEP). Đedović Handanović signed agreements on donations from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), EUR 4.5 million, and the EU, EUR 3 million.

SECO earlier approved a EUR 3 million grant, so the financing has now been completed at EUR 40.5 million in total.  The project is for the introduction of renewable energy sources in district heating systems.

For example, the town of Bogatić will switch from a boiler room that uses coal to geothermal energy. In the city of Novi Pazar, coal is set to be replaced by a heat pump using waste heat from the waterworks. In Kruševac, a heat pump will enable the utilization of waste heat from a wastewater purification system in district heating, the Government of Serbia noted.

The program covers ten municipalities and cities.

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