Electricity

Serbia to rely on Norwegian expertise in energy sector development

Serbia relies on Norwegian expertise in energy sector development

Photo: Office of the President of Serbia / Dimitrije Goll

Published

November 30, 2022

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Published:

November 30, 2022

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Serbia received recommendations from Rystad Energy and will work by its instructions, President Aleksandar Vučić said at the end of a two-day visit to Norway. He announced reforms in the management of state-owned energy companies in Serbia. Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović discussed with Norwegian officials how to plan sustainable investments in the energy sector and the best and most efficient use of Serbia’s resources.

At the end of a two-day working visit to Norway, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić pointed out that Serbia would follow the Norwegian experience in energy.

Vučić stressed that the delegation got clear recommendations from Norwegian consulting company Rystad Energy and said the government would work according to its instructions.

“We can have big investments. Making such deals isn’t easy. We need to identify what our biggest interest is in all this. We have to invest EUR 32 billion by 2050. We have to invest EUR 10 billion only in the power grid. We have to learn everything. That is what we need to work on,” Vučić said.

Using Norway’s experience

The Serbian president asserted that the delegation established good contacts for the future during its visit. Companies won’t be coming if Serbia doesn’t use renewable energy sources, Vučić pointed out.

“I saw all my interlocutors are very interested in solving energy problems not only in Norway but also in Europe, in the Western Balkans, and we talked about how to solve problems together in the region,” Vučić said.

He added the point is to secure big investments in renewable energy sources and that it is necessary to provide balancing and build hydropower plants to be able to integrate more green energy capacity.

In addition to investing in renewable energy sources, Serbia must find a way to preserve its resources, Vučić said.

Vučić: Keeping energy in Serbia is obligatory and there must always be a preemptive right to buy it domestically at rational prices

He stressed that one can’t use Serbian wind, sun and land and export energy to any country, adding that keeping energy in the country is obligatory. There must always be a preemptive right to buy it domestically at rational prices, he stressed.

Norwegians offered three solutions

The president confirmed that a study on the development of the energy sector has been prepared and revealed that the Norwegian partners offered three solutions. In his words, all three solutions imply significant changes in state-owned energy utilities.

All solutions imply significant changes in state-owned energy utilities

“They have made it clear here what needs to be done, what needs to change if we want to be successful. This is for the short term, this is for the medium term, this is for the long term, and that is that, laid out on several pages,” Vučić said.

Changes are coming for the management of state-owned energy utilities

As one of the first steps in the strategy, the Serbian president said there would be changes in government-controlled companies in the sector. Changes in the management in four out of five energy companies in Serbia are possible, as recommended by the Norwegian firm, Vučić underscored.

The management in the said energy utilities will be reorganized as soon as possible, he said.

Norwegian models for Serbia’s energy transformation

After meeting with Norwegian officials, Minister of Mining and Energy Dubravka Đedović clarified that Serbia would plan sustainable investments in the energy sector and strive to utilize its resources in the best and most efficient manner.

“Our first goal, which we are working on with Norwegian partners, is to stabilize the energy system within two years,” Đedović said.

She added the second goal is to conduct the energy transition so that by 2030 the country has more energy production from wind, solar and hydropower capacities. The third and final step is to decarbonize the sector and achieve system stability by 2050, the minister said.

Đedović noted that Norway introduced professional management into energy companies 30 years ago and that it created a favorable climate for private investment in a sustainable way, where energy resources belong to citizens.

As an energy giant, Norway has valuable experience for the reforms of Serbia’s energy sector, Đedović said.

Strategy and cooperation

The president of Serbia visited the Nordic country soon after the Norway – Western Balkans Business Conference: Investment Opportunities in Renewable Energy in the Western Balkans, which was held in Belgrade.

In September, the Government of Serbia signed a contract with Rystad Energy for consulting services to improve Serbia’s energy sector.

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