The Memorandum of Understanding for the realization of the first phase of the project of the use of renewable sources in central heating systems in Serbia, for which EUR 40.5 million has been set aside, was signed yesterday at the City Administration building in Kragujevac with representatives of 11 towns and municipalities in Serbia. The memorandum was signed with representatives of local self-governments by the deputy prime minister and minister of mining and energy of Serbia, Zorana Mihajlovic, the director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for the Western Balkans, Matteo Colangeli, and the ambassador of Switzerland to Serbia, Urs Schmid, on behalf of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
Mihajlovic told the press in Kragujevac that the signed memorandums meant not just the raising of the energy efficiency and including RES in the production of heating energy, but primarily a cleaner living environment.
According to her, the value of the projects is EUR 40.5 million, of which EUR 30 million are the EBRD loans, the Swiss government is donating EUR 8.5 million, and the donation of the European Union is EUR 3 million.
– The data show that, today, we produce 37 gigawatt-hours of heating energy from renewable sources. When this project is completed, and we’re talking EUR 40.5 million invested in 11 self-government units, the production of energy from renewable sources will be 3.5 times higher, around 197 gigawatt-hours – Mihajlovic said.
She added that it would also mean over 20,000 tons less carbon-dioxide emissions. Mihajlovic said that all projects would be done in the next four years.
She said that, in Novi Pazar, in October, the heating plants running on biomass would be completed, whereas such heating plants had already been opened in Priboj and Mali Zvornik.
According to Mihajlovic, in Nis, solar energy will be used for the production of heating energy.
Kragujevac will have two projects, one for the use of energy from the Data Center, whereas the other is related to an additional biomass boiler.
Matteo Colangeli said that the pilot project had started the year before and that it provided an example of how to improve green energy transition and air quality, while at the same time ensuring energy security.
Urs Schmid said that Switzerland and Serbia faced the challenge of decarbonizing their economies in order to meet the obligations from the Paris Agreement on climate change, but also to improve the environment, protect the citizens’ health and reduce the costs and the dependence on imports.
– For both our states, it means that, in the upcoming years, we will have to considerably increase the share of renewable energy. In that sense, the current energy crisis is a wake up call to step up our efforts toward the development of alternative energy sources and achieving greater energy security – Schmid said.
He said that the central heating system in Serbia offered great potential for the improvement of the decarbonization of Serbia’s economy.
– Nearly 100% of the heating energy comes from natural gas, mazut and coal, and only 0.4% comes from biomass – Schmid said.
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