Serbia: How to reconcile energy and environment, wind parks on hold

15. December 2014. / News Serbia Energy

500 MW in wind power plants should provide the electricity in Serbia since 2020th, and even so more from other renewable sources. Following the energy logic, after that year also the reserve should be constructed – one or more plants with total power of several hundred megawatts, which will be able to come and help when, due to weather conditions, wind turbines and solar systems cannot work.

Our country, in which the last power plant was built quarter century ago, now does not have such reserve. All agree that the best solution would be the construction of hydro power plant that “would jump” into the system when the wind power plants retreat.

– The National Action Plan envisages that Serbia will have 1,092 megawatts of renewable energy by 2020th, in order to fulfill international obligations that 27 percent of total energy consumption comes from renewable sources. Wind farms should make up about 45 percent of total capacity. At this point, most of the projects are developed in the southern Banat and it can be expected that the first wind farms be built in local governments such as Vrsac, Plandiste, Kovin, Alibunar, Kula and Kovacica. The most important thing is to finally begin to build them – told Today Ana Brnabic, director of the company “Continental Wind Serbia”.

Serbian power sector, as for our newspaper says Jan Klinko, a leading engineer in the sector of Elektrovojvodine, expect big tasks and investmentsin the next two decades, especially because about 1,000 megawatts of thermal power plants could stop working in the next ten years, if not met strict European environmental standards. It is particularly concerned that the construction of the same power from renewable sources, in terms of production would not be an equivalent to the thermal power plants which fell out of steam.

Renewable energy sources are necessary in order to mitigate climate changes, say our source, but with them it should be thought about the resources that the weather will not affect in the extent that the wind or solar power plantsaffect. In addition, the construction of renewable energy sources is not only an investment in them, but also in the transmission network – that the new facility could be connected, but also that the effect of wind turbines, due to unfavorable wind, is not the same as in the Western Europe.

– Developed countries perform technical analysis of further introduction of renewable energy sources in a complex way. All the problems and associated costs incurred by integrating these sources into the power system are taking into account. That is the way the work should be done here. Because, in the case of wind farms when the wind stops, the system operator shall provide a rotational reserve, which typically has the highest price, especially if you are buying in the market. Therefore, the best solution was the construction of hydro power plant “Bistrica” as obverse to 500 megawatts wind power plants that are planned in southern Banat – Klinko says.

At this moment, also the wind farms and “Bistrica” –are on hold. The new energy law prepared in cooperation with the Serbian Wind Energy Association is important for investors in renewable energy sources.

– One of the most important changes that investors expect is that instead of two different models, as it has been predicted by the current law, only one contract for the electricity purchase is sufficient, in compliance with the requirements of international financial institutions. Finally, we expect fromthe new law to define certain ambiguities that exist in the present, as well as the regulation of licensing and construction phase for energy facilities. We discuss on it with Elektromreza Srbije in order to find together the best solution – explains Brnabic stating that Serbia has a huge potential in the field of renewable energy and that the purpose of the law is to enable its better utilization.

It is worth mentioning that renewable energy contributes to the preservation of the environment, but between her and ecology still cannot stand the equal sign. It is true that the impact of wind farms on nature is much smaller than the impact of thermal and nuclear power plants, but it exists, told Milan Paunovic , an adviser at the Natural History Museum and the researcher of infrastructure impact on nature.

– It was thought that the areas on which has been planned the construction of wind turbines are without life, but it turned out it was not so – and these areas which at first looked like a desert, have its own fauna. And the wind turbines would also endanger here birds and bats, and even some endangered and protected species. The researches of the wind farms impact on the nature have been done all over the world and these experiences can help us a lot- says Paunovic, adding that the institutes for Nature Conservation of Serbia and Vojvodina have done a test what areas are important for the wind and what for the environment protection and it would be good if she continued.

The highest production in the winter

-The wind is not constant, but it is predictable and according to the Energy Lawwe need to send the annual, monthly and daily forecasts of production. But the advantage is that it is expected that 70 percent of production from wind farms will be in the winter season. These 500 megawatts from wind farms could substitute 90 percent of the winter electricity imports, by which Serbia from net importer would become the net exporter of electricity – said Ana Brnabic.

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