Serbia finally starts utilizing its biomass potential thanks to UNDP
The results of the project “Reducing Barriers to Accelerate the Development of Biomass Markets in Serbia”, worth USD 30 million, were presented at the conference held as a side event of the Energy fair 2016, traditional manifestation held every year in Belgrade.
The project was delivered by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in partnership with the Serbian Ministry of mining and energy as a lead partner, and with the Ministry of agriculture and environmental protection. It was funded by the Global Environmental Fund (GEF) with USD 2,8 million, UNDP with USD 0,3 million, Serbian government with USD 1,8 million in services and non-financial contribution, and private investors.
However, participants at the biomass conference concluded that both forestry and agriculture biomass is still not used in an energy efficient and sustainable manner, and therefore represents the major potential for green investments.
“Now when we have legislation in place, we can start doing biomass business in Serbia”, said Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano, the UN Resident Coordinator, and UNDP Serbia Resident Representative addressing the audience
Maja Matejić, UNDP portfolio manager in Serbia, presented the results of the project, including six new biogas CHP plants. She pointed out the importance of the cooperation between ministries of energy and agriculture, and of the implementation of the sustainable financial mechanism for supporting private sector biomass projects.
On the other hand, with only 6,32 MW of installed power, these six biomass powered facilities represent only a modest start compared to the potentials.
Miloš Banjac, assistant minister of mining and energy, said that Serbia still has unused biomass potential of 2,2 million tons of oil equivalent. He added that Electric power industry of Serbia (EPS) is testing biomass as a fuel in thermal power plants using coal-biomass mix.
“Until recently, Serbia was exporting more than 80 percent of its biomass. Today, the biomass export is about 65-70 percent, and we hope to further reduce these quantities with new investments in biomass power plants”, said Miroslav Miletić, Vice President of the Chamber of commerce and industry of Serbia (PKS).
Miroslav Lutovac from PKS said that, due to the state incentives and feed-in tariffs for renewable energy investments, expected period for return of investment can be within a six-year period.
Conference participants reminded that in order to reach its renewable energy targets, Serbia will definitely have to utilize its biomass potential that makes 61% of the total renewables potential.
The conference announced the new Serbian Chamber of Commerce specialized web portal Zelena energija (Green energy) developed as an e-platform for biomass trading.
The conference was held at the 12th International Energy Fair and 13th International Trade Fair for Environmental Protection and Natural Resources – EcoFair.