“Abandoning coal is Serbia’s obligation because we have signed and ratified the Paris Agreement. As a responsible member of the international community, we should fulfill it”, said Aleksandar Macura from the RES Foundation, at the discussion “How can Serbia decarbonise its electricity system?”, which was held on 5th October 2021, and organized by the Climate Forum.
Nikola Rajaković, professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and president of the Energy Association, Aleksandar Macura, program director of the RES Foundation, and Nikola Stamenov, development director for Serbia at CWP, talked about the future of domestic energy. The moderator of the forum was Nemanja Milović, the founder and editor in chief of the klima101.rs portal.
In order to successfully make the energy transition to renewable energy sources, we should first remove coal from our electricity system, and not only because of the negative implications of this energy source on the environment. The chances for successful implementation of these plans exist, as well as the interest of investors.
There are currently about 400 Megaatts (MW) of wind farms and 20 MW of solar panels in Serbia, of which 10 MW on roofs and 10 on land. According to Stamenov, investors in our country are preparing projects for more than 4 GW of wind and more than 2 GW of solar power plants. “That is about the size of the currently installed total capacity of Serbia, which is around 8 GW”, added Professor Rajaković and added: “The two main weaknesses of our power system are the reliance on lignite and the age of the capacities. That can be overcomed by switching to clean energy.”
Even if we ignore the benefits that this would have on the environment and climate, “electricity from wind and solar is, thanks to technology and innovation, cheaper than electricity from lignite and coal, and represents a commercially and economically viable alternative to fossil fuels,” he said.
Stamenov stated: “The last set of laws in the Republic of Serbia is a good signal for investors in the field of renewable energy sources.”
According to Aleksandar Macura, decarbonization requires a social transformation of unprecedented proportions. He believes that it is therefore necessary to reach a social consensus. “I would like to see social mobilization in the next two years. This is a topic that should be discussed in the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia”, said the program director of the RES Foundation.
All three experts are optimistic about the transition to clean energy.
“Renewable energy sources represent a development opportunity and I deeply believe that Serbia will exploit that opportunity,” concluded Professor Rajaković.