Energy consumption has been on a rise from day to day, whereas more than 1.3 billion people, mostly the inhabitants of Africa and Asia, have no access to electricity, a survey of the International Agency for Renewable Energy Sources has shown. The production of power from renewable energy source is competitive in relation to numerous technologies exploiting fossil fuels. The total potential of renewable energy sources in Serbia has been estimated at 4.7 million tons of oil equivalents. More in the International Economic Review, prepared by Ranka Pavlović.
The realization of the UN goal to have electricity available to everyone in the world by 2030 would create four million work positions in the energy sector. In 2011, investments in that sector reached some 250 billion dollars and the power production costs are lower and lower. The costs of production through solar systems have been reduced by 60% in the past two years and amount to 1 USD per kilowatt. With the price of 0.06 USD per kilowatt hour, agricultural and timber waste ranks among cheaper energy sources, while power from large hydro plants can be three times as cheap, which is why this type of energy is the most competitive one.
A more efficient and comprehensive use of green energy has been outlined in Serbian strategic documents. In the summer of 2012, the EPS is going to schedule tenders for the construction of eight new and the revitalization of 15 small hydro power plants. The investment, worth 23 million euros, is to be financed from EBRD loans and the works are to commence in autumn. German company RWE and the EPS have founded a joint venture „Moravske hidroelektrane“ aimed at building five plants on the Velika Morava river. The RWE is considering other projects as well, such as a reversible hydro power plant, „Đerdap 3“.
As for wind energy, by 2014 Serbia should have obtained the first wind parks. Of the total renewable energy sources potentials, some 5% refer to wind energy potentials. Such potentials are the strongers in the region of Vojvodina, especially in Banat, and around the lower Danubian flow – the areas there the kosava wind blows strongest. A construction licence has already been issued for the first wind power plant, “Plandište 1”, in Vojvodina. The facility is have 102 megawatts in power and will be using 40 windmills and the investment is worth 3.22 million euros. Besides, near Kostolac, the EPS is also planning to build a wind park and the works could start next year. This investment is worth some 40 million euros. A significant boost to the development of these potentials is to be given by the German Siemens company as well. A year ago, in Subotica, in the north of Vojvodina, they started building a wind generator factory. The investment is to be completed by the end of 2013 and is worth 24 million euros.
As for solar energy, it has been agreed upon that the Securum Equity Partners Europe company of Luxemburg should build the world’s future largest solar park “Onegiga”, of 1.000 megawatts in power. The park is to be constructed near the town of Pirot, in southeastern Serbia. It is to span 3,000 hectares and the investment is worth 1.7 billion euros. The first kilowatts of that power should be on the market in the second trimester of 2013 and the entire production is aimed at exports. Besides, by the end of this summer, the first solar power plant will be built in the vicinity of Leskovac, in southern Serbia, and a similar facility is to be built on Mt Zlatibor as well, in western Serbia.
Serbia’s strategic plans aim to raise the participation of alternative energy sources to 20% by the end of this decade, which is in line with EU requirements.