Five heating plants in Serbia are considering having part of the heating energy produced from renewable sources. Through the Program of Renewable Sources in Remote Heating and Cooling in the Western Balkans, towns and municipalities can secure the money for the preparation of studies and the development of projects.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Austrian government have set aside EUR 4 million for donations for this purpose.
Pancevo, Bor and Novi Sad are analyzing whether it's possible to use large solar facilities instead of gas or coal. Valjevo and Sabac are considering using heat pumps, which would use the heat from waste water treatment facilities.
– World practice shows that the energy mix should be diversified and that heat should be provided from as many different renewable sources as possible – Bojan Bogdanovic, the head of the project, explains for Novosti.
He added that this made for a secure delivery of heating, allowing the heating plant to choose which energy source to use in real time.
– This saves money, as the prices of producing heating energy vary throughout the heating season. Solar facilities can cover up to 50% of the total energy needs of a system – Bogdanovic said.
Regarding the dilemma about whether Serbia has enough sun energy for this, experts cite the example of Denmark. It has 30% fewer hours of sunlight, but these systems operate without a problem there. Solar panels would be accompanied by reservoirs where water would be heated to 90 degrees until October, making it ready for a safe and economical start of the season.