United States Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill and Serbia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović launched USAID’s regional project Investment in Energy worth USD 20 million.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlović said investments in new energy capacities, an efficient green energy transition and the strengthening of regional connectivity are the most important for Serbia to achieve energy security. She announced the start of the five-year Investment in Energy project with US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill.
The activity is worth USD 20 million. It is aimed at helping countries in the region identify and develop investable energy projects and switch to clean energy, according to the US Agency for International Development, USAID, which initiated the cooperation.
Energy security implies regional cooperation
“Energy security is not a country-by-country issue. Like so many of the pressing challenges we face today, it is a problem that demands regional cooperation. We expect this activity to result in millions of dollars of new investments in energy projects in the region,” Hill stated.
Developing investment-ready, bankable projects will reduce or eliminate risks for potential energy investors, thus increasing the chances of projects being financed, the announcement adds. The Investment in Energy project will initially focus on improving investment potential in improving the operation and management of energy and water utilities, heat and power generation, transmission and distribution networks, heat supply, citizen demand side, water supply and sanitation.
Public funds are insufficient for necessary energy investments
The energy sector in the region, including in Serbia, is in need of investment which is far beyond the capability of public funds, said Andrew Popelka, a Senior Energy Advisor at USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia.
In addition, USAID Serbia’s Better Energy project and the Ministry of Mining and Energy of Serbia are beginning a joint public information campaign for households on energy savings, with support from the EU for You project.