Serbia is working on a new energy policy that will involve greater use of renewable energy sources but also a right of first refusal in the sale of green energy produced by power plants on its territory.
Aleksandar Vučić, Serbia’s president, has said a new energy policy is one of five key items on the country’s reform agenda, along with climate action and environmental protection.
Norway will help Serbia develop its new energy policy
He said that Norway, and partly the United Kingdom, will help Serbia develop its new energy policy, whose drafting will require a broad understanding of what lies ahead.
Elements of the new policy, according to him, include increasing the use of renewable energy sources, creating conditions to integrate such energy sources into the system, which involves the construction of pumped-storage hydropower plants, but also making sure that the green energy produced in Serbia is actually consumed.
The fact that the market has been liberalized is great, he said, but Serbia needs to ensure that its resources, such as wind, are utilized and that the energy remains in the country.
Serbia must at least ensure a right of first refusal to buy green energy produced on its territory, which it doesn’t have at the moment, he said. “If you’re using our resource, then the energy must first end up in Serbia because we need it, and then you can export it,” Vučić explained, adding that this applies to solar as well.
Nuclear is the most cost-effective and cleanest energy
According to him, there should be no debate about whether or not to build pumped-storage hydropower plants Bistrica and Đerdap 3, but there must be a debate on modular nuclear reactors, and it must include experts.
He said that nuclear energy is the most cost-effective, the cleanest, and the best energy today. Training experts may take time, but modular nuclear reactors can be a solution to ensure enough energy, according to him.
The biggest challenge at the moment is ensuring sufficient quantities of coal
Voicing his full support for the construction of modular nuclear reactors, Vučić said he believes they are the future of energy and noted that France plans to build more nuclear power plants and that all countries around Serbia are developing such facilities.
Serbia’s biggest challenge at the moment, he said, is coal mining. A lot of money needs to be invested in increasing the production capacity from 60,000 tons to 75,000 tons and then to 90,000 tons, which is necessary to ensure enough electricity.
He also announced that Serbia would soon open talks on natural gas supplies with Gazprom, noting that the country is 100% dependent on Russian gas. That will remain the case for at least two more years, and perhaps even longer, according to Vučić.