Serbia, The import of electricity cost one billion euros

, News Serbia Energy

In the last year, Serbia has spent about one billion euros on importing electricity. Investments in wind farms, solar power plants and in energy efficiency, which require less money. For the same amount of money, the state could solve the problem of missing energy, according to an analysis by the Klima 101 portal.

Elektro-privreda Srbije (EPS) is investing 114 million euros in the construction of the Kostolac wind power plant, with a capacity of 73 megawatts.

Serbia’s current expenditures for electricity imports could cover the construction of around ten wind power plants that would generate over 1,150 gigawatt-hours during the year.

According to earlier estimates, the wind farm in Kostolac , with 20 generators, will produce 115 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity per year, which is enough to supply about 30,000 households.

Although wind farm production varies throughout the year, this would, in absolute terms, be enough electricity to meet one-third of imports during the fatal winter period of 2021/2022.

Serbia currently has 393 MW of installed wind farm capacity, which annually provides the amount of electricity consumed by an average of 220,000 Serbian households.

In the last year, Serbia spent over one billion euros on electricity imports.

Wholesale electricity prices in the light of the energy crisis ranged between 100 and 300 euros in winter, and in some summer months they were even higher.

On the other hand, only a year ago it was much cheaper, from 30 to 60 euros.

It is certain that the final total will include hundreds of millions of euros.

However, it is important to point out that the costs, through taxes, are actually subsidized by the citizens.

Within the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (INEKP), the construction of wind power plants between 3,090 megawatts and 4,870 megawatts is foreseen by the end of the decade, which means that ten wind farms like Kostolac would provide up to a quarter of the planned capacities .

It should be borne in mind that these are rough calculations, as well as that the prices on the market change from month to month, as well as that wind generators have become more expensive due to inflation, but also that prices are expected to stabilize in the future.

Solar power plants

EPS planned to build its first solar power plant, Petka , with a power of 10 megawatts, at the external disposal site of the Ćirikovac mine, also in Kostolac.

However, in May of this year, that project was suspended, as stated, due to a lack of money, which is connected precisely with the huge costs for importing electricity. The costs would certainly not have been so high if the wholesale price of electricity had not jumped up to ten times.

The construction of one megawatt of solar in previous years cost around one million euros. By investing a billion euros, we could build solar power plants with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts, which is roughly equivalent to fulfilling two-thirds of the ambitions set forth in INEKP of 1,540 megawatts.

What citizens are probably even more interested in is how much a billion euros could benefit us in acquiring the status of buyer-producer and building a solar power plant on the roof.

“Much more than the current state subsidies, which are 1.6 million euros – the amount is distributed among 700 households in 37 local governments, and covers 50% of the costs of the system, which are around 4,000 euros,” the text adds.

Help to poor families

With 625 times more money, it is possible to help up to half a million Serbian families in their journey towards the consumption of sustainable electricity.

Financial resources can also be used to replace old stoves.

Last year, the Municipality of Priboj helped to replace a total of 76 individual fire pits at the local level.

Of that, for twelve socially disadvantaged households, the investment was fully covered by the Municipality and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, while three stoves were donated by two companies.

As the director of JP Toplana Priboj, Marko Janjušević, said, the new devices of the domestic manufacturer cost about 530 euros, with another 15 euros for bringing in and taking away (recycling).

“The benefit is that more efficient stoves will consume less firewood and thus pollute the environment less and save money by requiring less firewood,” said Janjušević.

According to the estimates of Aleksandar Matura from the RES Foundation, there are about 100,000 individual fireplaces with low efficiency in Serbia:

“For 55 million euros, we could fully cover the costs of new eco-design stoves for these households, which would significantly improve the quality of air and life in Serbian cities.”

Even when we take into account the price increase, our imagined budget allows us to go a few steps further in the energy transition in heating and to

Also, as suggested, the most vulnerable residents can be provided with heat pumps.

The highest price for the purchase and installation of an air-water heat pump for a family house, with a power of 12 kW, is 4,800 euros.

As it is added, even in that case we would remain well below the famous billion that we spend to import the missing electricity.

As reported by New Economy , electricity in Serbia will be eight percent more expensive from January 1, 2023.