Serbia has biomass potential awaiting to be explored

3. December 2012. / News Serbia Energy

Serbia has unused biomass potential of 3.3 million tons of oil equivalent and use of these natural resources would significantly help us to reach the goal to produce 27 percent of total energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020, it was said at the workshop to plan the project “Reducing barriers for rapid biomass market development in Serbia” that was held in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce (SCC).

Only using biomass energy Serbia could install capacities with 1,400 MW power and that potential needs to be exploited, said the UN Representative in Serbia William Infante and pointed out that we have very few biomass plants.

He said that within the project of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), “Reducing barriers for rapid biomass market development in Serbia” at least four projects related to biomass utilization could be run, adding that the work is being done on the preparation of financial documents for these projects, the value of which is estimated at around 16 million.

Infante said that the adoption of a new list of tariffs for renewable energy creates uncertainty for investors, and expressed hope that the new tariffs will ensure state subsidies for “green energy”.

He said that current energy prices are unsustainably low and must be increased and include the cost of alternative energy sources. Secretary of Energy and Energy Mining SCC Slobodan Petrovic reminded that Serbia took upon itself the obligation to produce 27 percent of total energy consumption from renewable energy sources, and that we are now producing 21 percent.

It is not easy to reach the goal of 27 percent is not easy, but we should not be pessimistic, Petrovic said, adding that the goal is achievable by using all types of renewable energy sources, wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, small streams. Serbia has committed to use 10 percent of bio-fuels in the total consumption of petroleum products.

The press release of SCC states that Serbia is taking large steps towards the utilization of renewable energy sources, and in three years it has concluded 32 agreements on preferential electricity production from renewable sources, issued a number of permits and incentive tariffs have been adopted.

Head of the Department for Renewable Energy Sources in the Ministry of Energy, Tanja Stojanovic said that most permits, 128 of them were issued for small hydro power plants, 11 of them for wind turbines, two for biomass and biogas, and one for solar power plants.

She said that the incentive tariffs for biomass range from 11.4 to 13.6 euro cents per kilowatt hour, and reminded that the biomass is degradable left over of biological origin from agriculture and timber industries. As barriers to greater use of biomass for energy purposes, she listed uncertainty of supply and problems related to the availability of raw materials, unregulated markets, lack of affordable loans and certified laboratories and other obstacles.

Using biomass in Serbia would save about 55 million Euros based on reduction of carbon dioxide emission, and we could employ about 6,000 workers on these jobs, said the leader of the UNDP team Calliope Panuco.

She announced that in cooperation with the Global Environment Fund (GEF) a total of 16 energy projects related to biomass could be realized in Serbia.

The conference was organized by the Association of Energy and Energy Mining of their Serbian Chamber of Commerce and UNDP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, Development and Environmental Protection of Serbia.

Source Serbia Energy Magazine

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