Renewables

Serbia in talks with UGT Renewables on 1 GW in solar power plant projects

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Photo: Ministry of Mining and Energy

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August 2, 2021

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Published:

August 2, 2021

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Serbia hopes to sign a contract soon with Chicago-based UGT Renewables for the installation of photovoltaic systems with a combined capacity of 1 GW, President Aleksandar Vučić said. The company’s CFO Peter Goodall revealed domestic construction firms would be involved in the project.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States or EXIM offered a 20-year financing package to Serbia for 85% of the value of a potential 1 GW solar power deal that the government wants to agree with UGT Renewables, President Aleksandar Vučić told the press.

The Ministry of Mining and Energy signed a memorandum of understanding with the renewable energy company headquartered in Chicago. Few banks can offer such favorable funding conditions, Vučić stressed.

“This is the beginning of a new era for us. This is an important leap into the future for us. This is a memorandum of understanding. We are about to enter negotiations on all the conditions and it won’t be easy, but I believe we will complete them soon. I believe we will make the best possible agreement for the future of Serbia for something that is, perhaps, of crucial importance for the economic development of our country and its success within the so-called green agenda,” the president stated.

Photovoltaic plants will be built throughout Serbia on 2,000 hectares in total

The solar power plants in question should span a total of 2,000 hectares in ten or so locations throughout the country and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.9 million tons per year, compared to Serbia’s current emissions of 51 million tons, according to Vučić. The photovoltaic project’s estimated output is equivalent to 3% of the current electricity production, he added.

Vučić expressed hope a contract would be signed soon and that within two years Serbia would have cleaner air, produce more electricity and improve energy efficiency and energy security. The government is about to reform and modernize the energy sector and state-owned enterprises, “which still haven’t essentially changed their habit not to change anything and to maintain the status quo,” he underscored.

Solar panels are part of solution for EU’s upcoming CO2 border tax

The 1 GW solar power project with UGT Renewables will help the country balance electricity and avoid paying a CO2 tax, Vučić asserted. He noted the European Union delayed the introduction of the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism until 2026 and said Serbia must find solutions like solar energy for such difficult conditions.

In his words, the government is “not ready to give up” on its coal-fired thermal power plants “within three days.” Vučić pointed to the benefits from having US companies in a country for the investment attractiveness of its economy.

UGT Renewables to build solar power plants on land of low economic value

UGT Renewables’ Chief Financial Officer Peter Goodall, who signed the memorandum with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović, said it is “the beginning of a process.” He added domestic construction firms would be involved.

The company’s executive asserted it would work with relevant ministries on picking locations with the land of low economic value. He vowed to pay great attention to the environmental impact and the effects of the project on the local communities.

UGT Renewables is developing solutions that will support economic growth in Serbia and the surrounding region, Goodall said.

US Ambassador to Serbia Anthony Godfrey said the country’s new Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources significantly improved the conditions for investment in green energy and that it would result in lower prices for consumers and clean air for everyone.

UGT Renewables and its subsidiary Sun Africa design, build and manage utility-scale solar power projects.

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