June 12, 2024
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Serbia: Could RES and nuclear energy replace coal?

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In the energy future, a replacement for coal could be a combination of various renewable energy sources (RES), such as solar, wind, and water, along with the possible use of nuclear energy. Serbia has already made significant progress in generating electricity from renewable sources, with 36% of production from RES in the past year, which is the third-best result in Europe after Norway and Spain. When it comes to installed capacities from RES, Serbia is approaching a percentage of 50%.

These are all questions that were raised at the third International Conference on Energy Transition organized by the “Balkan Energy” portal. Energy expert Željko Marković, one of the panellists at the “Supply Security in Conditions of Green Energy Transition” panel, emphasized that the world is struggling with solving the problem of how to connect as much RES as planned. By 2028, seven terawatt hours will be connected. However, even then, RES will not represent 100% of global green energy production but rather 80%. Nuclear energy has not been much of a topic so far. But something will certainly have to replace coal. The market will force us to shut down coal sooner than planned. Whether we will shut down or withdraw, time will tell. The state is introducing a capacity mechanism. However, there are conditions related to state aid rules and adequacy assessment of the system. This also costs. The state must pay EPS to keep those capacities in reserve. And citizens will have to finance that reserve through some tax,” said Marković.

According to him, a great emphasis is placed on the construction of solar panels. European directives recognize a significant share of solar panels in households. When it comes to the transmission and distribution system, investments in infrastructure are needed. A continuous integrated plan is what is insisted upon globally.

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Maja Turković, Director of CVP Global, emphasized that the private sector is more efficient when it comes to RES, as it can develop projects cheaper and faster. We can build capacities faster. Private projects will not be implemented if they are not profitable. We have many projects in the public sector that are being built even though they are unprofitable,” said Turković, commenting that only projects capable of concluding power purchase agreements will receive financing.

David Žarković, Executive Director of EPS, emphasized that this company was under great pressure from investors for a power purchase agreement. None of those investors wanted to become participants in the electricity market independently. Noting that electricity goes where the price is highest, Žarković said, “All investors in Serbia have the primary goal of signing a contract with EPS.”

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