Serbia, primary strategic corridor for the future gas supply to Europe

, News Serbia Energy

Natural gas is the fuel of the 21st century and Serbia is considered to be a primary strategic corridor for the future gas supply to Europe. AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) and GE recently organized the “Golden Age of Gas” workshop in Belgrade where the growing role of natural gas reserves, better use of resources and more local, decentralised natural gas power generation were discussed.

Today’s “new energy economy” recognises the increasing cost of energy and consequently it is focused on efficient and sustainable generation, distribution and use. This is supported by a political willingness to reduce dependency on energy imports, reduce CO2 emissions and boost local industry. Natural resources are scarce and a change towards this new energy economy comes at a price – there is often fierce resistance from local populations and large-scale infrastructure projects (NIMBY – Not In My Back Yard).

Certainly, using power from wind and solar continues to play an important role, but they are not the only answer to today’s energy questions. We must explore every option, including cleaner, more efficient ways of burning fossil fuels. Central to this new model must be the idea of flexible and efficient gas generation.

The Three “E”s

Current trends in the global energy market indicate a growing role and importance of natural gas reserves. Harmonious development of the three “E”s – energy, economy, and ecology – gives an advantage to natural gas over other conventional fuels.

Energy: Natural gas provides the most appropriate back-up capacity for renewable energy source intermittency, supporting the integration of renewables into modern energy systems. Natural gas is a flexible fuel that is used extensively in power generation with multiple applications – industrial applications, district heating, cogeneration, etc.

Economy: The increased use of natural gas as an energy source has a critical impact on the competiveness of industry, thereby stimulating investment and growth. Gas resources are abundant and well spread across many regions in the world. It has already generated numerous benefits in the US and has the potential to do so in Europe too.

Ecology: With less than half the carbon emissions of coal, the use of natural gas contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and facilitates the development and use of a sustainable energy mix.

Serbia: a strategic corridor for future gas supply

Serbia is one of the SEE countries considered by the European Commission as a primary strategic corridor for future gas supply to Europe. The country has developed its long-term energy development strategy for the period up to 2020, with perspectives by 2050, all with a focus on natural gas, in line with global trends.

Together with the growth of renewables, natural gas will experience its expansion with the construction of the South Stream Gas Pipeline to be built through Serbia. These new supplies will enable the construction of new gas power plants. As a result, Serbia would reach a diversification of energy sources as well as environmental and economic benefits.

At the “Golden Age of Gas” event, Gaetano Massara, CEO GE South Eastern Europe explained why it is crucial to build a modern and sustainable energy infrastructure.

“There is no economic development [in Serbia] without modern and sustainable energy infrastructure. To meet the goal of 27% of power produced from renewable energy, Serbia needs a more balanced energy mix,” said Massara.

At the event, the advantages of distributed power were also discussed. In this video, Daniel Minev, Senior Sales Account Manager, GE CEE, Aeroderivative Gas Turbines explains the importance of flexibility and low emissions:

Minev explained how “we need more than ever to be creative when thinking about power diversification, and natural gas is one of the cleanest fuels”, adding that customers can have their own gas turbines and that this solution can be used not only in Europe, but anywhere else in the world too.

Watch Alfons Krauser, GE Area Sales Leader Eastern Europe reflecting on GE’s solution to increasing energy demand in the region, particularly district heating projects. “This is one of the major focus areas for us in Serbia, and we see other projects too in countries like Romania.”