Serbia will shut-down 8 coal-fired power plant’s units of public power utility Elektroprivreda Srbije (EPS) which do not comply with ecological requirements of the European Union’s Large Combustion Plants Directive, by 2024. Electricity generation from these power plants will be compensated by the construction of 7 new wind farms and two natural gas and coal-fired power plants.
This is part of the Decree on establishing the Program for the Implementation of the Energy Sector Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia for the period by 2025 with projections by 2030 for the period from 2017 to 2023 issued by the Government of Serbia.
“The electricity production from the decommissioned units would be compensated by newly constructed plants. 78 wind farms, combined heat and power plant in Pančevo and unit B3 in the thermal power plant Kostolac B are going to be built,” the Decree said.
The plan to withdraw 8 units from operation is necessary due to their age and the need to meet the requirements of the Serbian Decree on limit values for emission of pollutants in the air from the combustion plant and the application of the limited operation mechanism of the plants (opt-out mechanism).
The Decree on limit values for emission of pollutants in the air from the combustion plant is a part of the National Emission Reduction Plan endorsed after Energy Community (EnC) adopted Decisions regarding implementation of the Large Combustion Plants Directive (LCPD) and Industrial Emissions Directive (IED). Serbia is a member of the EnC.
The Treaty Establishing EnC, in force since July 2006, said that the LCDP must be implemented by 31st December 2017. However, in October 2013, the Ministerial Council of the EnC adopted the rules necessary for the implementation of the LCPD. This includes the possibility to prepare a National Emission Reduction Plan for the period 2018-2027 and to apply limited lifetime derogation for certain plants until end 2023.
In December 2015 Serbia submitted to the EnC a preliminary National Emission Reduction Plan and a preliminary list of plants using the opt-out mechanism. This mechanism implies limited operation of the plant – 20,000 hours between 2018 and 2023.
70% of electricity stems from coal
After that, the plant is either shut down or its emissions of harmful substances have to be aligned with the emission value for new plants. New plants, built after 2018, must have air emissions in line with the strictest limit values in the Industrial Emissions Directive.
Coal-fired and combined heat and power plants in Serbia are controlled by EPS. In overall electricity generation structure, the share of coal-fired plants is around 70 percent and the share of hydropower plants around 29 percent.