The Ministry of Mining and Energy started the realization of a long-prepared project in 2018: Stimulation of Usage of Renewable Energy Sources – Development of Biomass Market. The project aims to have as many heating plants in the Republic of Serbia as possible switch from fossil fuels to biomass or thermal energy, Milos Banjac, assistant minister for RES and energy efficiency, told eKapija.
– The loan agreement with the German Development Bank on the first phase of the project was signed in June 2018. The total amount is EUR 26.75 million, of which the KfW loan is EUR 20 million, whereas the remaining EUR 6.57 million are donations from KfW of EUR 2 million and from SECO of EUR 4.75 million – Banjac said for eKapija.
He said that the project closest to being realized at the moment were heating plants in Priboj, Mali Zvornik, Prijepolje, Nova Varos, Novi Pazar, Majdanpek and Bajina Basta.
– The preparation of tendering procedures for the procurement of equipment and the execution of works in Priboj and Mali Zvornik, with the total power of around 9 MW, are currently in progress. The plan is for the construction of these two heating plants to begin in 2020. The preparation of the documentation for the construction of new biomass-powered plants and the connection to the remote heating system is also in progress in Novi Pazar, Prijepolje and Nova Varos – Banjac says.
The first public procurement procedures for the said project are planned for September 2019, and according to the plan, Banjac says, the construction of biomass-powered heating plants will be completed in 2022 in Priboj and Mali Zvornik and in 2023 for the other three heating plants.
Banjac says that the project aiming at the development of the biomass market has just been realized by the UN Program in cooperation with the Ministry of Mining and Energy.
– A total of six biogas power plants, with a total of USD 1.6 million in grants, have been directly supported through this project. Through suitable incentives and realization of this project, the capacities of biogas facilities have increased multiple times in the past four years. Currently, as many as 17 biogas power plants, with a total capacity of 17.5 MW, have the status of a preferred producer, whereas 23 facilities of the total power of 22.2 MW are being built – Banjac says.
Let us remind that the Office for Public Investment Management is carrying out the state’s project of financing biomass-based heating projects in towns and municipalities, with funds provided from the budget of the Republic of Serbia. The towns and municipalities taking part in this project can expect to get biomass heating plants in 2019 and 2020, and more about the project can be found in a separate article
According to the Strategy of Development of Energy, adopted in 2015, the total available technical potential of biomass is estimated at 3.4 million tons of oil equivalent, whereas Serbia spends around 1.1 each year, mostly for the heating of households.
– The latest studies, which take into account competitive technologies which also use biomass for non-energy needs, as well as realistic possibilities of collection and storage of biomass, show that the usability of biomass is slightly lower, amounting to around 2.1 million tons of oil equivalent. For the sake of comparison, Serbia spends around 3.2 in electrical energy a year, of which around 0.9 from renewable sources in large and small hydro power plants, biogas facilities, solar and wind power plants – the assistant minister said.
Biomass can be used even more efficiently on the level of households, Banjac says.
– This is achieved through better organization in the process of procurement and storage of biomass (through drying), and a gradual introduction of increasingly efficient furnaces. With this, a larger number of consumers can use the currently available quantities of biomass without having the volume of the consumption increase. Biomass needs to be constantly promoted for its consumption to increase, and this energy source is competitive even without incentives. It is not only cleaner, but cheaper as well, to use biomass instead of fossil fuels – he says.
As all other RES, biomass considerably contributes to the reduction of environmental pollution.
– This is certainly the main reason for using biomass as an energy source. Furthermore, it is very important to point out that using biomass can create new jobs for all levels of education. Compared to other RES, biomass is the absolute leader in this respect. The dependence on import is at its lowest here, whereas the hiring of human resources is at its highest compared to all other energy technologies – Banjac says.I. Milovanovic