The Ministry of Mining and Energy has launched a project called the Further Capacity Development for Energy Planning, which will include the drafting of a national energy and climate plan (NECP) for the 2021-2030 period, with projections until 2050.
Serbia is the last contracting party of the Energy Community (EnC) to start preparing a NECP. The drafting has kicked-off after the adoption of three energy laws which are expected to initiate the energy transition in Serbia. The laws also create a legal basis for the NECP’s preparation.
The plan is to have the NECP prepared for the government to adopt it by the end of November
According to the ministry, the plan will define 2030 goals for increasing energy efficiency and the share of renewable energy sources as well as for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. I will also include policies and measures to implement these targets. The ministry has told Balkan Green Energy News that it will insist that the NECP be ready for adoption by the Serbian government by the end of November.
EU members were obliged to prepare NECPs, while members of the EnC are not
These targets were set by the EU, aiming to reach its long-term goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050 and fulfilling commitments under the Paris Agreement.
National energy and climate plans have been introduced as an obligation for EU members under the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, which was adopted to help the EU achieve its 2030 energy and climate targets – reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%, increasing the share of renewables in energy consumption to 32%, and improving energy efficiency by 32.5%. The EnC contracting parties have no obligation to adopt a NECP, only a recommendation, but they are all preparing them, while the EU members have recently adopted them.
The development of the NECP in Serbia is part of a EUR 900,000 project funded by the EU
After chairing the first meeting of the steering Committee of the Further Capacity Development for Energy Planning project, Zorana Mihajlović, Minister of Mining and Energy, asked members of the working group for the preparation of the NECP and consultants to complete the draft document well before December.
Marko Jovanović, Assistant Minister of Finance in the Sector for Contracting and Financing Programs from EU Funds, pointed out that the project is worth EUR 900,000 and is financed by the EU under the IPA 2017 program. The contract with the consultant from Greece was signed in February 2021, he added.
The project envisages public consultations in Serbia as well as consultations with the EnC, the development and adoption of a report on a strategic environmental impact assessment, and the adoption of the NECP by the Government of Serbia.
Everyone in the region is ahead of Serbia
The beginning of the NECP drafting, however, will not improve Serbia’s position among the EnC contracting parties when it comes to the preparation of the document. Serbia has not yet completed any of the seven parameters, or steps, on the path to the adoption of the NECP, which are monitored by the Secretariat of the EnC within the Energy Transition Tracker, as well as on its website. (see table above).
The remaining five contracting parties from the region – Albania, BiH, Kosovo*, Montenegro, and North Macedonia – have completed several steps each, and North Macedonia was the first to submit a draft NECP to the Secretariat in October 2020. Members are required to submit a draft and final NECP to the Secretariat, which will send back recommendations.
The EnC should set climate and energy goals for 2030 this year
In 2018, EnC adopted a recommendation for the preparation of NECPs, which is not legally binding, and afterwards, together with the European Commission, it prepared Policy Guidelines to help countries develop their NECPs. According to the guidelines, NECPs should cover the period from 2021 to 2030, laying down the pathway to achieve the 2030 targets for renewable energy, energy efficiency, and emissions.
As is the case of EU members, which define their goals in NECPs in accordance with the goals at the EU level, the EnC is expected to set targets for contracting parties this year.
All countries in the region except Serbia are preparing their NECPs in cooperation with GIZ.