Serbia is planning to start the construction of two large-scale hydro projects, pump storage hydropower plants Djerdap 3 and Bistrica, in 2023, in order to compensate for the lack of electricity produced in coal-fired capacities, which forced the country to import expensive electricity to cover the demand.
The Government has already declared the two projects as projects of national interest, with the preparation of project-technical documentation starting early this year, expected to be completed next year.
Serbian Minister of Mining and Energy Zorana Mihajlovic said that the pump-storage HPP Djerdap 3 will have an installed capacity of 2,200 MW, with the addition of two solar power plants of 200 MW each. The power plant would be built in phases, with the first phase, of 600 MW, would be connected to the network in 2025, with the cost of some 2 billion euros. On the other hand, HPP Bistrica project would have installed capacity of 600 MW and would cost some 700 million euros.
Minister Mihajlovic added that state-owned power utility EPS will establish public-private partnerships with strategic investors for wind and solar projects of up to 1 GW, in which EPS would have 50 % or higher stake and would perform balancing for the partnership. The produced electricity would be primarily used to cover the domestic needs, while the surplus would be exported.
She reminded that Serbia produced about 70 % of its electricity from coal, while other 30 % are accounted for renewable energy, mostly hydro power. However, due to severe drought this year, hydro-based generation is at only 15 % of average generation. Serbia has about 500 MW of installed capacity in wind power, while solar capacity is marginal, amounting to just below 50 MW.
However, the state is trying to promote the installation of rooftop solar panels by households and businesses, offering subsidies of up to 50 %.