Solar power systems are getting cheaper every year. During the industry’s boom in Europe and the world, investment in the sector in Serbia has been weak. ProCredit Bank’s expert Danko Kalkan points to great growth potential.
Prices of solar power equipment have been halved in the past several years so such systems are more profitable for investors in Europe and beyond than power plants that use conventional sources, as firms are burdened with expenses for carbon dioxide emissions and higher environmental protection standards.
Incentives for prosumers
The production of power from the Sun’s energy is rapidly expanding on the global level. Clean solutions like PV have wide applications and they have become more affordable also for smaller firms, agricultural producers and natural persons.
Many states, like Romania and Italy, offer incentives for the construction of rooftop solar units, and the idea is also for surplus output to be delivered to the grid and compensated, so consumers turn prosumers.
One of the most important factors for enterprises and retail consumers is more independence, so outages have little or no impact. The independence effect can be enhanced with energy storage – batteries.
Consumers who install solar panels increase the level of their energy independence
Until recently, solar energy’s presence in Serbia was negligible both in companies and in households. However, with the development of financing models, a wider selection of technologies in the market and the expansion of installers’ capacity, it is now possible to generate power for own needs in Serbia as well.
Economic case for firms, individuals
Six years ago, investment costs per watt of photovoltaics were EUR 1.2, and the benchmark already fell to between EUR 0.6 and EUR 0.7 now, making the technology economically viable, said Danko Kalkan, Green Finance and Environmental Management Unit Coordinator in ProCredit Bank in Serbia. He told Balkan Green Energy News solar power has great growth potential in the country both for firms and individuals.
Kalkan noted annual solar radiation in Serbia is 1.4 MWh per square meter or 40% higher than in Germany, which has the biggest installed capacity in Europe.
ProCredit Bank insists clean energy is no luxury anymore and that it must become part of everyday life. It declared a goal to become climate neutral by 2023.
ProCredit tapping on solar power potential
Late last year, the German-based financial institution installed a solar power unit of 40 kW on the roof of its headquarters in Belgrade. The bank says the facility, built for its own electricity consumption, enables partial energy independence and contributes to environmental protection.
The new photovoltaic panels have a projected output of 41.6 MWh per year. “It is equivalent to the consumption of 11 households. Furthermore, annual greenhouse gas emissions will be lowered by 31.5 tons,” Kalkan said and added the bank would continue to install small solar power plants on its buildings. ProCredit is also implementing measures to decrease electricity consumption.
The bank’s rooftop solar system output is equivalent to the consumption of eleven domestic homes
It also introduced interest-free loans in Serbia for the installation of solar panels for five to seven years, in cooperation with engineering firms. Individuals can obtain financing for rooftop systems of up to 5 kW without a down payment and the minimum investment is EUR 6,000.
All companies and agricultural producers can opt for photovoltaic facilities with a capacity of up to 120 kW, starting at EUR 108,000, and savings can be bigger than monthly instalments, the bank said. All versions include installation and maintenance. A special offer is for trailers that would be equipped with solar systems of 4.5 kW or 7.5 kW.