Serbia could provide for part of its energy needs from the renewable sources, but on the annual level, only 18% of those potentials are used. The biggest contribution could come from the biomass, and a considerable supply can come from the energy of rivers, sun and wind. Aleksandra Novakovic has more on the subject.
According to some estimations, Serbia could use the renewable sources to produce the energy equivalent to 4,89 million tons of oil, while a couple years ago the total energy supply from those sources amounted barely to 8.79 tons. The transfer to the renewable sources would not be felt through the price of energy supply, as it would stay the same, but the state would benefit greatly. The prices to be paid to the producers that use the renewable sources, according to the assessments of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, should be doubled, comparing to the current ones. However, the state must be ready to subsidize the development of this field because of many positive effects, starting with energy stability, substitution of imported fuels and environmental protection. According to the Kyoto Protocol, by 2020 we have the obligation to decrease the emission of harmful gases by 20%, and this is the only way to achieve it, experts believe. They agree that it would also boost the development of national production programs, especially in the field of machine construction.
The data from the ministry on charge, one quarter of the total energy produced in Serbia could be gained from the biomass. In field farming, the energy potential of the biomass is estimated to 3 million tons, while in the fruit and wine plantation filed it is around 1.1 million tons. The potential of forestry is also not negligible, and the national plan envisages that in two years 31.5% of the Serbian territory be under woods. In our country there is a possibility of growing so-called energy forests on 200 thousand hectares of uncultivated land. The research shows that the annual production of 15-20 tons of wood biomass per hectare can be achieved. The use of biomass in Serbia has already found its place in heating houses with briquettes.
The value of an investment that would enable the production of electricity from the biomass is estimated to some 50 million euros. Hydro-energy participates with 32% in the total production of the electric energy in Serbia. However, only 70% of the hydro potential in the country is used, and as much as 60% of the installed power of hydro plants is 40 years old on the average. The biggest potential is found in the watersheds of Morava, Drina and Lim rivers, but also on the Danube.
From the energy of the wind, we could produce 2.3 billion kWh annually, and earn 120 million euros from it. However, it requires the making of a wind atlas of Serbia, in order to establish the accurate plan of locations that could host wind generators.
When it comes to solar energy, Sun radiation in Serbia is by 40% greater that the European average, i.e. amounts to 1.4 kWh per square meter on the annual level. The annual energy of sunshine on a square meter of any roof in our country, equals the amount gained from burning 130 liters of oil, and the biggest potentials are found in Nis, Kursumlija and Vranje.
The use of geothermal energy for heating and other purposes is in the initial phase, so it is very modest in comparison to the potential and resources. If the entire available potential of geothermal sources were used, it would save at least 500 thousand cubic meters of liquid fuels, some 2.2 million tons of coal and 600 million cubic meters of gas. There is great interest of companies from Holland, Germany, Russia and Denmark for direct investments in the use of geothermal energy in agriculture, i.e. to build greenhouses on more than 300 hectares, with investments of at least 200 million euros.