Serbia, Who cares about wind and sun from “Bistrica”

, News Serbia Energy

No money from the budget is planned for this reversible hydroelectric power plant, but it is for the construction of solar and wind power plants, which cost 153.4 billion dinars.

When the current Minister of Energy Zorana Mihajlović recently stated that her idea had been investing in the 680 megawatt RHE “Bistrica” ​​reversible hydroelectric power plant since 1999, a logical question arose, and if so, why is this important domestic source of green energy he was not on the list of priorities of national importance in either the first or the second term of the minister. Especially since the current minister is a great advocate of renewable sources, which “Bistrica” ​​is. In any case, instead of the domestic “Bistrica”, the money from the budget, for about two gigawatts of green electricity, will go to investors in the sun and wind. The budget of Serbia envisages the approval of money for project and program loans, with foreign investment corporations, funds and banks. This primarily refers to solar power plants with an installed capacity of one gigawatt, for which 94.4 billion dinars or about 800 million euros should be set aside, and for wind power plants with a capacity of 800 megawatts to one gigawatt, for which 59 billion dinars or about 500 million will be set aside. euros. The only domestic project seen in the budget is “Djerdap 3”, for which an investment of 177 billion dinars is planned.

Otherwise, the reversible hydroelectric power plant “Bistrica” ​​would produce peak energy to cover the maximum daily consumption, which is otherwise the most expensive energy, and which is very important if it is known that electricity consumption in Serbia will increase by 16.3 percent by 2030. In addition, in the future, Serbian energy will face very high costs for the construction of energy storage facilities due to greater reliance on variable renewable sources. This way, it would be saved through the construction of “Bistrica”.

Asked why “Bistrica” ​​is not a priority, the Ministry of Mining and Energy (MRE) in response to “Politika” transferred the responsibility to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, explaining that MRE in December 2021 proposed that the RHE “Bistrica” ​​project be declared a project at a government session of special importance for Serbia. Positive opinions of all ministries except the Ministry of Environmental Protection have been collected, and they should be contacted for the reasons for this decision. By the way, according to the Energy Development Strategy from 2015, the RHE “Bistrica” ​​project should have been completed, ie this power plant should be built in 2020. Why not, the question is for those who did not, answer in MRE and emphasize that others mentioned projects compatible with the RHE “Bistrica” project.

Those who, however, remember a little longer, know that this is not the case, and that MRE accidentally or intentionally forgot to say that according to the original project of RHE “Bistrica” ​​proved to be unprofitable, because at that time there was not so much interest in investing in solar power plants and wind farms in Serbia. That is why there was no focus on that project, because the requirements for renting a generator to provide a balance reserve were sufficient for the then production mix of conventional sources in EPS. At the same time, forcing a high share of green energy in the production mix of Serbia, without previously completely finished hydroelectric power plants “Bistrica” ​​and “Djerdap 3”, is unsustainable and at least illogical.

When asked whether this is called lobbying for foreigners, whose pockets are being filled again with the money of all of us who pay for electricity, the MRE says that the question for the current EPS leaders is whether the damage was caused to Serbia by importing electricity during the winter of 2021/22. “Lobbying or something else”, because for 30 years no new plant for the production of electricity was built, on the one hand, while on the other hand they deceived the state and citizens about the readiness of capacity. Let’s not forget that hundreds of millions of euros were spent on electricity imports, precisely for this reason, and that amount is further increased every day, because domestic production is still not enough to cover the needs and we can only ask whether that cost will be in the value of RHE “Bistrica” ​​or RHE “Djerdap 3”.

In other words, the “pockets of foreigners” are being filled and will be filled in the coming period precisely because of the import of electricity, and in a much larger amount than if we had built new capacities. Unlike us, Romania has built about 18,000 megawatts in the past 10 years (250 times more than what we have just agreed on in this energy), not to mention more developed European countries. That the example given by MRE is not the happiest is confirmed by the fact that due to the high share of green energy in the production mix and technical limitations of thermal power plants in Romania, Romanian “Hidroelektrika” was forced to pour water as primary energy and completely clean green energy. on “Djerdap”, in order to meet the requirements for balancing the Romanian system, which all had not only technical consequences but also severe financial consequences for the Romanian company that manages the hydroelectric power plants.

When asked, how long will the MRE’s priority be to throw money at the green energy with which we could not cover the deficits during the winter but to import electricity, they answer “that neither investing in clean energy is a waste of money, nor do they set priorities, but only propose priorities, and the government decides on them.” By the way, serious money has already been spent, and it is far greater than the value of “Bistrica” and every other project mentioned here, and it was thrown away, by their management, by those who contributed the most to the difficult situation in which EPS finds itself.

In the end, the big question remains who will bear the costs of the obligatory balancing reserve and balancing, because judging by the currently valid Law on Renewable Energy Sources, this burden will also fall on the already weakened EPS, Politika writes.