The decree on the leasing of state-owned agricultural land for non-agricultural use, adopted by the Government of Serbia, enables local authorities to issue public calls for the lease of land for installing renewable energy power plants, but also for disposal of tailings, ash, slag and other hazardous and harmful substances.
The decree applies to land registered in the real estate cadastre of the Republic Geodetic Authority and labeled as state-owned agricultural land.
State agricultural land can be leased for the construction of solar power plants and wind farms, but also for geological exploration and exploitation of mineral resources (clay, gravel, sand, stone, oil and natural gas) and disposal of tailings, ash, slag and other hazardous and harmful substances.
The right to lease land can be given for a maximum of 30 years
When it comes to the disposal, the activity can be performed with the submission of the necessary approvals issued by the Ministry of Mining and Energy.
The land can be given for lease to individuals and legal entities, for a period of up to 30 years, the decree reads.
The subject of lease is uncultivated state agricultural land (pastures, reeds and swamps), or cultivated state agricultural land (fields, meadows, gardens, orchards and vineyards) of the sixth, seventh and eighth cadastral class.
After the adoption of the new law on renewable energy sources, the lease of state land for the construction of solar power plants and wind farms could be another push in the right direction – acceleration of the construction of green power plants. On the other hand, enabling the disposal of tailings, ash, slag and other hazardous and harmful substances on agricultural land could cause problems to environmental protection.
Public calls to be announced by local municipalities
The local municipality first has to group state agricultural land planned for lease into special public bidding units, while the interested individual or company has to submit a letter of intent to lease state land and the project.
The decision on launching a public call would made by local authorities, with the consent of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Leasing is carried out in a public bidding procedure, according to the decree.
For renewable energy projects, the initial annual amount of the fee is equal to five times the amount of the average lease price per hectare of state agricultural land. If the land is intended for the exploitation of minerals and disposal of harmful substances, the initial fee is thirty times the amount of the average lease price.