New Plan of EMS Reveals That Serbia Can Balance 5.8 GW of Wind Farms and Solar Power Plants – Demand Several Times Higher

Source: eKapija Sunday, 17.09.2023. 13:00
(Photo: Nadezda Murmakova/
The transfer system of Serbia can balance 5,800 MW of variable electrical energy sources at the moment, as determined by the development plan that EMS submitted to the Energy Agency this summer, announced the director of the Development Directorate of EMS, Nebojsa Vucinic, at the RES Serbia 2023 conference, held earlier this week in Vrdnik. That is four times lower than the current 24 GW of demands for connecting wind farms and solar power plants to the network

Vucinic reminded that the amendments to the Law on the Use of RES envisaged an estimate of the available reserves for the balancing of the system.

– In line with the plan we have developed and submitted to the Energy Agency, the capacity of the transfer system is 5,800 MW of variable electrical energy sources. The consultations were finished in late August and now the plan remains to be adopted – Vucinic announced.

According to him, the adoption of the Law on the Use of RES in 2021 led to dramatic changes in the interest of investors in wind farms and solar power plants. As he revealed, by April 30, 2021, there had been 4,900 MW of wind farm requests and 400 MW of solar energy requests processed, along with 400 MW of the already connected ones. With five requests submitted before the adoption of the law, the number grew to 100 requests, of which 70 for solar power, whose installed power was 11 GW. The demanded capacity of wind farms and solar power plants for connection has thereby increased four times, to over 20 GW in the past two years.

– We are now far above 20 GW, we have reached 24 GW. It is clear to everybody that there will be problems if everything is realized – Vucinic revealed and added that, in the coming years, EMS planned investments of EUR 900 million in the transfer system.

When it comes to solar power plants, the Eastern Serbia region is the most popular one, with demands amounting to 3,200 MW, followed by South Banat with 2,700 MW, Backa and Srem (1,500 MW) and North Banat (1,300 MW).

Let us remind that the amendments to the law envisage that the system operator is able to postpone the connection of power plants to the system if it turns out that there are not enough balancing reserves. At the same time, the investors are given the option to avoid the postponement if they secure additional balancing capacities on their own or through another participant in the market.

Requests filed for others’ land

Still, despite the large number of requests, there are very few solar power plants in the distribution system. The director of the Planning and Investments Directorate of Elektrodistribucija Srbije, Predrag Matic, says that there are currently 380 producers of electrical energy with 260 MW of installed power on the distribution system at the moment. Mini hydro power plants, of which there are 162, are the most numerous, followed by solar power plants, of which there are 157, but the power is nowhere near as big, only 23 MW.

As Matic revealed at the RES Serbia 2023 conference, as many as 2,506 requests, amounting to an installed power of 1.9 GW, are currently being processed. For 274 projects, decisions have been issued, entailing permits for connection, which means that they can be expected to be connected to the distribution system quickly. However, a large number of requests is certainly a problem to which there is still no solution.

– According to the Law on Planning and Construction, we have no right to request proof of ownership over a piece of land, so requests have been filed for others’ parcels. The submitters have thereby not reserved the land, but they have reserved the capacities. I don’t know what they’re doing now, whether they are buying land somewhere, but this is like the Wild West. The first one who plants the flag can keep it there for 5-6 years and thereby block serious investors – Matic concluded.

M. D.

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